|THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (1966)|
|Time: 110 mins.|
SYNOPSIS: When a railroad official comes to town to shut down much of the town's railway (its' main income), he unexpectedly finds love with Dodson's flirt and main attraction, Alva. They then try to escape Alva's mother's clutches and the town's revenge.
BOTTOM LINE: There's a reason Natalie Wood was such a huge star raw, unadulterated talent. It's on full display in this Southern-fried, Tennessee Williams melodrama about a young woman with big dreams and nowhere to go. She plays Alva, the most sought after girl in her small Mississippi railroad town, who lives with her equally popular mother and younger sister. They run the local boarding house and own the hearts and lust of all the men. Unfortunately, their world comes to a screeching halt with the arrival of Owen Legate (Redford). Alva can't help falling for him, despite the trouble he brings and her momma's expectations of her. Her need to escape from under her mother's thumb causes her to make a decision that will destroy the future happiness she finds with Owen. Wood gives her all to the doomed Alva, the girl who has everything but her own freedom. The film sparkles whenever she's onscreen. Though Alva is not the purest of creatures, Wood makes her seem special, above the trashy lifestyle she leads. Redford is the perfect foil, playing a man who deals with cold hard reality every day and has no time for fantasy. Their scenes together are pure magic. Unfortunately, the spell is broken by a slapdash, unsatisfying ending that almost ruins the whole film. A must-see for Wood fans.