The Shelley Winters Blogathon – The Chapman Report (1962)


This is the final of three reviews for Gill of RealWeegieMidget’s and Erica of Popitty Talks Classic Films’ The Shelley Winters Blogathon which will take place 1-3 October.

Thanks for letting me take part Ladies!

“We are fact-finders, no more, no less. We are not in the business of appraising, correcting, or commenting. To many of you, the idea of discussing intimate sexual details with a stranger, even though he is hidden from you by a screen, an embarrassing idea. If I could you use one word to describe our approach, that word would be: detachment. In the final analysis, each of you will have been absorbed by the whole.” – Dr. George Chapman

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Sep 2019)

Brief Synopsis – Four women are affected in different ways by the men and relationships in their lives after participating in a survey about satisfying relationships and sex lives.

My Take on it – This is yet anther film that I had never heard of before choosing it for this blogathon.

I randomly came across it and the title and premise sounded intriguing so I decided to see what it was all about.

This is actually a fascinating idea for a movie but due to the fact that they don’t explore the characters or their situations in a deeper way takes away so much from things.

Th choice to focus on four very different kinds of women makes sense and allows for us to see four diverse story lines that go in completely different directions.

Unfortunately, they jump too often between the stories on what seems like whims and they fail to find a way to anchor the story in a more significant way.

None of the stories are impactful enough because the film doesn’t manage to focus enough on any of them which might make their threads feel even more impactful.

The cast of this film is great and Shelley Winters, Jane Fonda, Claire Bloom and Glynis Johnson all do nice jobs with their roles as the four women especially given the fact that none are the primary focus of the story.

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. is the most recognizable of the male actors and is also the only character who has a connection to all of the threads.

When it was made back in the early 60’s, this film and its subject were quite controversial, but based on today’s standards, it’s pretty tame.

This actually hurts the film because one would expect a film dealing with these kind of subjects to feel as if they are doing more for their cause if the story and characters didn’t feel so superficial or uninspiring the whole way through.

Bottom Line – Interesting idea that unfortunately isn’t explored well enough.  The idea to focus on four different women is a good choice yet the story jumps too much between the various story lines instead of finding a way to focus more soundly on each of them in a way that would make them more impactful. The cast is quite good with Winters, Fonda, Bloom and Johns as the women.  Zimbalist Jr. is also quite good as the one character who connects all of the story lines together. This was quite a controversial film when it was made, but is quite tame based on today’s standards which actually hurts things a bit since one expects a premise like this to be more insightful instead of superficial in the way that it tries to deal with this kind of subject matter.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – It is significant, and a bit of a private joke, that Glynis Johns reads a specific Dowson poem because it was from that poem that Margaret Mitchell got the title for “Gone With The Wind” and the director of “The Chapman Report,” George Cukor, was the director of “Gone With The Wind” before being fired a few weeks into the shoot by producer David O. Selznick. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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7 thoughts on “The Shelley Winters Blogathon – The Chapman Report (1962)

  1. Pingback: BLOGATHON… The Final Day is Here for the Shelley Winters Blogathon – Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

  2. Pingback: The Shelley Winters Blogathon has arrived! – Poppity Talks Classic Film

  3. I agree totally with your review, Rob, this is one with a wonderful cast of great actors and an intriguing premise, but it really goes nowhere and isn’t even good melodrama. Too bad, because the dramatic possibilities are there, but unexplored.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1962 | MovieRob

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