Sunday, October 12, 2008

Raintree County (1957)

They say in Raintree County there's a tree bright with blossoms of gold.
But you will find the Raintree's a state of mind, or a dream to enfold.
~"The Song of Raintree County"
Perhaps the sign of a classic film is if it means one thing to you when you are young but takes on a whole different meaning in later years. Raintree County is one such movie. I saw this movie as a young person and loved the romance, the clothes, the rivalries, which all seemed so exciting. Now I see the tragedy of a young man losing his dreams and his great love through one moment of misspent passion, a passion that would beget many sad repercussions for many people. Montgomery Clift captures the idealistic and brilliant John and his quest for redemption in the form of the elusive raintree. Elizabeth Taylor is in rare form as his mentally ill Southern belle seductress, struggling with demons brought on by family dysfunction. Eva Marie Saint is lovely and spirited as John's true and lost love, although you totally understand how he falls for Taylor. As usual, there is great chemistry between Taylor and Clift. The supporting actors are in top form. It is one film that is pretty faithful to the book, which was much more tragic. Share

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