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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Autumn Leaves (1956)

A lonely older woman (Joan Crawford, looking more butch than usual) meets a lonely, slightly immature young man (Cliff Robertson) and despite their age difference, fall in love and marry. But after the marriage, she notices inconsistencies in his history until it becomes clear that he's emotionally disturbed. Directed by Robert Aldrich (who would later direct Crawford in WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?), the film is not without interest in its depiction of a May-December romance but the relationship between the two has Crawford turning motherly toward the almost child like Robertson which gives the film an unintended (one hopes) creepy incestuous feel to it. It doesn't help that Crawford is just awful in it while Robertson seems to be doing a dry run for his Oscar winning role in CHARLY. Far more interesting are the twisted pair played by Vera Miles as Robertson's amoral ex-wife and Lorne Greene as Robertson's malicious father. The title song is sung by Nat King Cole. With Ruth Donnelly, Shepperd Strudwick, Marjorie Bennett and Maxine Cooper (Velma in Aldrich's KISS ME DEADLY).

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