|Oscar-winning Shirley Booth and Burt Lancaster|
"You didn't know I'd get old and fat and sloppy, but I didn't know it, either." -- Lola to Doc.
Lola Delaney (Shirley Booth) is a housewife who is always afraid that her husband, a chiropractor named Doc (Burt Lancaster), will fall off the wagon again. The couple got married years ago when Lola got pregnant, but she lost the baby, and fears that her husband feels trapped and disappointed with life and marriage. Doc does, of course, but he has a bond with Lola, although trouble appears when they take in a pretty young boarder named Marie (Terry Moore of Peyton Place). Marie becomes a symbol to Doc of lost youth and opportunity, just as Lola's old dog, Sheba (who probably ran away to die), is a symbol of her own faded dreams. When Doc comes to believe that Marie is not the sweet innocent he thought she was, he can't resist going to the bottle ...
|Richard Jaeckel and Terry Moore|
|Terry Moore and Burt Lancaster|
NOTE: I could only get a few minutes into a 1977 TV version of the play in which, incredibly, Laurence Olivier is even more miscast (and less effective) than Lancaster, and Joanne Woodward, also miscast, doesn't come even close to approximating Booth's genius. Booth had a pixilated, almost pathetic quality that made her just perfect for Lola.
Verdict: "Some things should never get old" -- A strong and touching drama. ***1/2.