Monday, March 3, 2008

This Property Is Condemned (1966)

At first while I was watching This Property Is Condemned I kept thinking, "wow, this is a really underrated film", but once I saw the ending I understood why it isn't talked about anymore. Natalie Wood is at her best, both aesthetically and with her performance, portraying Alva Starr a young woman in a small Southern town during the depression. Alva lives with her mother and sister in a boarding house they run for all the railroad people that come and go. As Willy, Alva's sister portrayed by Mary Badham would put it "Alva is the main attraction". Because of her beauty, and seeming overall love of life, Alva is lusted after by each and every one of the railroad workers including her mother’s beau. Alva's mother also notices how then men lust after her and is constantly whoring her out to a rich man from Chicago so that she can further herself in life. Alva seems both aware of this and in denial at the same time. One day a man named Owen Legate (Robert Redford) comes to town. Owen is a man who works for the railroad and his job is to figure out who is to be laid off. Alva is immediately attracted to Owen, but he doesn't seem interested in her at all and his "smart alec" attitude seems to enrage her and at the same time multiply her attraction. Eventually, after a big argument about what it is he is doing in town with the layoffs, they end up sleeping with each other and falling in love. The characters are fantastic, and Natalie Wood and Robert Redford put in incredible performances. As I mentioned earlier, this film is great up until the end. They seem to just cut off the main story, and go back to the narrative taking place a few years in the future to tell you what happened. If they had taken the time to go a little further and actually show you, it would have been much more powerful and possibly even become a tear-jerker. If the ending had been done correctly this would have been a four star film. Overall 3.0/4 Stars Grade = B+

1 comment:

Mo Kidding said...

A nice summary on one of my favourite movies. Oh, and Sydney Pollack died yesterday.