Raintree County (1957)


“War is the most monstrous of man’s illusions. Any idea worth anything is worth not fighting for.” – T.D. Shawnessy

Number of Times Seen – 1 (25 Nov 2019)

Brief Synopsis – In the days leading up to the Civil War, young man from the North falls in love with a girl from the South and their relationship becomes turbulent due to their different views on slavery  and her mysterious past.

My Take on it – This is another film is the quickly dwindling list of films that I had never heard of before doing a project to try and watch all movies that have received Oscar nominations for its actors.

The premise seemed a bit interesting but I really didn’t know what to expect.

Unfortunately, this film is much too long for its own good and comes across as being quite boring by the way things are presented.

The cast is great and they help elevate this story more than it truly deserves.

Montgomery Clift does a great job in the lead role and is able to establish great chemistry with both of his leading ladies Eva Marie Saint and Elizabeth Taylor to a point where they seem very plausible.

The story doesn’t feel original enough in scope and tries too hard to be perceived as an epic which it isn’t.

The plot drags along too much and at over 2 and a half hours, this film is much too long.

Perhaps if they had cut things down a pit and fastened the pace slightly, things would have been more effective and enjoyable.

Taylor was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here despite the fact that she comes across as being a bit over the top in the way that she plays this character.

Bottom Line – Long and boring film that is elevated a bit by the great performances of the cast. Clift has great chemistry with both Eva Marie Saint and Taylor and makes his connections to both of them feel very plausible. The story tries too hard to come across as an epic, but doesn’t work as well as one might hope The story drags along too much along the way which takes away so much from the enjoyment of things and it might have been more effective if it had been shorter. Taylor was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work in this film even if it is a bit over the top.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – On the evening of May 12, 1956, during the shooting of this film, Montgomery Clift was involved in a serious car accident on his way back home from a party at the house of Elizabeth Taylor. He apparently fell asleep at the wheel of his car while driving and smashed his car into a telephone pole. His friend Kevin McCarthy witnessed the accident from his car, drove back and informed Taylor and her then husband Michael Wilding, who immediately drove to the location together with Rock Hudson. Taylor entered the car through the back door, crawled to the front seat and removed the two front teeth from Clift’s throat that threatened to choke him. Hudson finally managed to pull him out of the wreck and together they protected him from being photographed until the ambulance arrived. This was necessary because soon after the emergency call had come in to the local police station, reporters were already on their way and arrived at the scene when Clift was still in the car. The accident was well publicized. After nine weeks of recovery and with plastic surgery, Clift returned to the movie set and finished the film, but with considerable difficulties. His dashing looks, though, were gone forever. In some scenes throughout the movie, despite the cinematographer’s skill, Clift’s nose and chin look different, and the entire left side of his face is nearly immobile. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)

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