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

Thursday, July 31, 2014


Marital discord: Deborah Kerr and Spencer Tracy
EDWARD, MY SON (1949). Director: George Cukor.

"The trouble with drink is it makes it just a little bit uncouth."

Arnold Boult (Spencer Tracy) is determined to make sure that his son, Edward [who is never seen] has the greatest life possible, and commits all manner of crimes to insure this, his ruthlessness even driving people to suicide. His wife Evelyn (Deborah Kerr) watches in horror, tries to interfere, and turns to drink, only inspiring more contempt from her husband. Boult has an affair with his secretary, Miss Perrin (Leueen MacGrath), but finds her as disposable as most of the people in his life, including his partner Harry (Mervyn Johns). This absorbing, adult portrait of a supreme narcissist and his spoiled son packs a wallop, due to an excellent script by Donald Ogden Stewart [Keeper of the Flame]  and superb playing by Tracy [State of the Union] and Kerr [The End of the Affair]. MacGrath, Johns, Ian Hunter [Tower of London] as a doctor who is sympathetic to Evelyn, and Tilsa Page as Miss Foxley, are also excellent. 

Verdict: Powerful marital drama. ***1/2.

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