Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


A RAGE TO LIVE (1965). Director: Walter Grauman.

Grace Caldwell (Suzanne Pleshette) has a strong sexual drive and won't apologize for it. She gets a bad reputation in the neighborhood and worries her mother and brother. Grace marries dignified Sidney Tate (Bradford Dillman), but when Roger Bannon (Ben Gazzara), an old acquaintance who's working on their barn, tells her how much he's longed for her for years, well Grace just can't help herself and she and hunky Bannon embark on an electric affair. This all leads to a lot of melodramatic but highly entertaining developments and confrontations, especially when one frustrated wife (Bethel Leslie) believes that Grace is carrying on with her husband (Peter Graves). The movie, constricted by the weakening production code, is, alas, of the "sin and suffer" variety, and Grace must pay for actions that many husbands indulge in without guilt or punishment. Still, the movie sort of thumbs its nose at the censors as well. Pleshette and Gazzara make a very sexy pair in and out of the sack. The performances are all good and the picture moves at a brisk pace. Far, far more entertaining than the British study of amorality, Darling, which was released the same year and won a few Oscars. Loosely based on a novel by John O'Hara.

Verdict: Great popcorn movie. ***.

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