EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|LOVIN' MOLLY (director: Sidney Lumet; screenwriters: Stephen Friedman/based on the novel Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry; cinematographer: Edward Brown; editor: Joanne Burke; music: Fred Hellerman; cast: Anthony Perkins (Gid), Beau Bridges (Johnny), Blythe Danner (Molly), Edward Binns (Mr. Fry), Susan Sarandon (Sarah), Conrad Fowkes (Eddie), Claude Traverse (Mr. Taylor), John Henry Faulk (Mr. Grinsom); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Stephen Friedman; Columbia Pictures; 1974)|
|"Lackluster direction by Sidney
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Lackluster direction by Sidney Lumet ("The Verdict"/"Prince
of the City"/"The
Group") of a film based on
novel Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry. It's written in a phony
country-styled tongue by the producer Stephen Friedman (when the heroine Molly
sits on her porch and exclaims "My
menfolk began rising with the moon," I wanted to either barf or break
out in laughter). The slow
moving drama, with few rewards for the patient viewer, follows along
the lines of McMurtry's misty eyed The Last Picture Show. It
traces two friends, the withdrawn uptight
farmer Gid (Anthony
Perkins) and the composed detached cowboy Johnny (Beau
Bridges), and their life-long challenge to win the love of the
independent-minded pretty farm girl Molly (Blythe Danner). The story
begins in 1925, in a small Texas town, where the three protagonists are
neighbors and are involved in a love triangle. We follow their lives
for the span of 40 years, as their youthful salad days begin to sour
with age and too much materialism and their menage a trois becomes old hat.
Molly disappoints them both by refusing to ever marry
either suitor, as she can't make up her mind which suitor to choose.
Her woman's-lib character slides into an earth-mother role when
circumstances warrant it, and there's much nonsensical cornball country
dialogue to hang onto if you want to ride this one off into the sunset.
Narrated by the three protagonists, the pic offers
few insights about romance though it pretends it has lots to say about
relationships. But the acting is OK (that is if you can stomach city
slickers playing country folks), and it offers a few interesting
moments to make things at least bearable.
REVIEWED ON 4/29/2011 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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