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The Next Reel • Season 13 • Series: 1952 Academy Awards Best Cinematography • Black-and-White Nominees • A Place in the Sun

A Place in the Sun

“If you’re an Eastman, you’re not in the same boat with anyone.”

Based on the 1925 novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, A Place in the Sun tells the story of working-class George Eastman (Montgomery Clift), who moves in with his wealthy uncle’s family and begins a romantic relationship with an affluent young woman named Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor). However, he becomes entangled in a love triangle when his co-worker Alice Tripp (Shelley Winters) reveals she is pregnant with his child. This film adaptation was a critical and commercial success, earning six Academy Awards including Best Director for George Stevens. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue the 1952 Academy Awards Best Cinematography • Black-and-White Nominees series with a conversation about A Place in the Sun.

Here’s a hint at what we talk about:

We dive deep into the performances, especially praising Montgomery Clift for his nuanced and multilayered portrayal of the morally conflicted George Eastman. We also discuss how this story explores themes related to social class, the American dream, and ambition. Though we find the film compelling and expertly crafted overall, we do question some of the legal specifics of the ending.

Here are a few other points in our discussion:

  • The cinematography and lighting choices that enhance the film’s mood and drama
  • Elizabeth Taylor’s breakout dramatic performance at age 17
  • Similarities to the real-life murder case that inspired the source novel
  • Whether this story could lend itself well to modern remakes

A Place in the Sun is a riveting and thought-provoking film with fantastic lead performances. We have a great time talking about it, so check it out then tune in. The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins!

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When the movie ends, our conversation begins. We love movies. We’ve been talking about them, one movie a week, since 2011. It’s a lot of movies, that’s true, but we’re passionate about origins and performance, directors and actors, themes and genres, and so much more. So join the community and let’s hear about your favorite movies, too.