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|Johnny Crawford||Italian Boy with Groceries|
|Jennifer Jones||Betsy Rath|
|Fredric March||Ralph Hopkins|
|Marisa Pavan||Maria Montagne|
|Lee J. Cobb||Judge Bernstein|
|Gregory Peck||Tom Rath|
|Jennifer Jones||Betsy Rath|
"The Motion Picture That May Very Well Be THE VERY GREATEST!"
Tom and Betsy Rath live in a rundown house in Westport, Connecticut around 1953 (1955 in the movie). They have three television-addicted kids (two girls and boy) and have money problems. Tom is 33 years old, a Harvard graduate. He barely survived as an Army paratroop officer during World War II, having fought in both the European and Pacific combat theaters (an unlikely scenario, but it sets the stage for his wartime love affair).Tom has haunting flashbacks of the affair as well as his combat experiences—these would almost certainly be diagnosed as PTSD today. He killed 17 men in combat. His stay-at-home wife knows only that Tom is somehow "changed" since the war. She feels his job with a Manhattan charitable organization pays too little, so she and a fellow train commuter urge him to interview for a job at a New York-based television network.Tom lands a public relations job, working for Ralph Hopkins, the top man at the network, an empire-builder surrounded by politicking yes-men. Hopkins is to propose the establishment of national mental health services to a group of physicians and offer his own prestige and network toward that end. Tom must solve how his boss can best present the proposal so that the learned doctors will rise in unison and appoint Hopkins to spearhead the campaign.Hired on a six-month probationary basis, Tom reports to a humorless game-player who rejects five different drafts of the speech and ends up substituting one of his own. Hopkins is satisfied, but Tom persuades him that the approach is all wrong, that it misrepresents Hopkins' qualifications to head the campaign. Tom's approach is more sensible; Hopkins is impressed. Tom reminds Hopkins of his own son, who was killed in combat.There are a number of subplots: (1) The caretaker of Tom's late grandmother tries to fraudulently inherit her home; (2) Hopkins' estrangement from his wife and daughter (who quits school to elope with an undesirable man); and (3) Tom's adulterous behavior during the war and an out-of-wedlock son conceived in Italy, whose mother suddenly contacts him to seek monetary support at a most inconvenient time. With no understanding of the horrors of war, Betsy goes berserk on hearing of this secret, but eventually calms down and understands mutual emotional support—not just mutual ambition—binding wife and husband.In the end, seeing the example of how his boss's marriage and family life have been ruined by overwork, Tom turns down a high-pressure position in order to work normal hours and spend more time at home.
DVD : 2005-08-09