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   LOVE WITH A PROPER STRANGER (1963) 

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CAST
Natalie Wood
Steve McQueen
Edie Adams
Herschel Bernardi
Anne Hegira
Tom Bosley
Harvey Lembeck
Mario Badolati
Penny Santon

DIRECTED BY
Robert Mulligan

PURCHASE


About Natalie




Time: 102 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Drama/Romance

Academy Award nominations for Best Actress (Wood), Art Direction, Costume Design, Cinematography and Original Screenplay.


SYNOPSIS: A young and naive salesgirl finds herself pregnant after a one-night-stand with a musician. When she tracks him down for help, he barely remembers her. Together they try to decide if she should get an abortion or try their hand at a relationship.

BOTTOM LINE: After watching this fractured love story, I can kind of see what attracted McQueen and Wood to this project. They were both looking for roles they could sink their teeth into, but this is a dark, uncomfortable melodrama that never quite comes together. One has to give the filmmakers credit for even attempting to make a film that deals with an unwanted pregnancy and attempted abortion. However, the topics don't make for a very romantic or pleasant cinema experience. I guess they figured it would go down easier with such likable leads. Wood plays Angie, the young lady with a big problem. McQueen, Rocky the jazz musician who tries to win her heart, though he initially can't remember her name. Angie doesn't want to be stuck in an unhappy marriage, so she turns Rocky down when he tries to do the right thing. She believes she'd have a better future if she married Columbo, a family friend who's desperately in love with her, rather than tie the knot with someone who's forced into it. Unfortunately, this dilemma is not at all believable because Columbo is played by Tom Bosley. Her choice, despite what the script says, is quite obvious. Mr. C or the King of Cool? Hmmmm. The inequality of the options negates the power of the film's message. Of course, who cares about that, as long as they get together, right? The leads have good chemistry and the plot gives them some powerful scenes to play; however, the final third drags on, mired in Angie's indecision, negating all the emotion and energy built up in the beginning. An intense film that does a fairly good job tackling a tricky topic, but in the end it's really for Wood or McQueen fans only.




"You know something, if you didn't try so hard to fight against it you could be a pretty decent kind of person."

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