East Side, West Side

East Side, West Side

DVD - 2007
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A gracious society matron decides to give her husband one last chance, but soon his ex-mistress shows up, brewing trouble and murder.


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Dec 11, 2014

Manhattan society couple Brandon and Jessie Bourne’s marriage is on the upswing after she forgives his extramarital indiscretion with slutty gold digger Isabel Lorrison. But all that’s about to change when Lorrison, who left for parts unknown after the affair ended, breezes back into town determined to rekindle Brandon’s libido despite the fact that another man is now paying her bills. Suspecting her husband has once again fallen off the monogamy wagon Jessie is torn between giving him a third chance or phoning a divorce attorney when fate sends her a curve ball in the form of Mark Dwyer. A government agent newly returned from Europe, Dwyer is a charming and charismatic man who takes an instant liking to Jessie when their paths cross at a busy airport. Although still in love with her errant husband, Jessie’s innocent flirting with Dwyer begins to cast a shadow on her resolve to mend her marriage yet again. And then tragedy strikes, as it usually does in these movies, and everyone’s game is suddenly changed… Graced by a crisp and intelligent script as well as a handful of star performances, Mervyn LeRoy’s tale of domestic despair among the idle rich is an overlooked B&W classic. As the beleaguered couple James Mason and Barbara Stanwyck are superb, while a seductive Ava Gardner plays the slutty temptress for all it’s worth. A fresh-faced Cyd Charisse as a New York model vying for Dwyer’s attention and Van Heflin as the handsome bachelor himself round out the cast. There’s even a surprise cameo by Nancy Reagan if you can catch it. LeRoy makes good use of his urban settings with the hustle and bustle of Manhattan contrasting sharply with quiet moments of household drama and a surprisingly erotic (for the time) seduction scene. But it’s Barbara Stanwyck who ultimately carries the show with her uncanny ability to portray women who are at once terribly vulnerable and fiercely determined. This is what a movie star looks like.

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