A Place in the Sun
August 31, 2012
Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift were immortalized as doomed lovers and emblems of lost youth in George Stevens' powerful adaptation of Dreiser's An American Tragedy, the extended close-up of their rapturous kiss one of the iconic expressions of classical Hollywood romanticism. In perfect counter to Taylor's ethereal and luminous beauty is Clift's tormented portrait of loneliness and guilt. Dreiser's allegory about American class inequity as a fateful, omniscient force is underscored by the figure of Raymond Burr's relentless prosecutor, a vision of thunderous, righteous sanctity that inspires fear and awe in the execution of the Law.