Monday, April 13, 2009

"East Side, West Side" (1949) -- Initial Thoughts

I just finished watching East Side, West Side (1949) for the first time. It stars Barbara Stanwyck, James Mason, Van Heflin, Ava Gardner, and Cyd Charisse. Yeah, quite a lineup, huh?

I picked it up at the library, where they'd stashed it in the Mystery section, which is about par for their decidedly odd genrefication system there. Because while a murder does occur, it's not until an hour and fifteen minutes into the movie, and it's not really the point of the movie. The point of the movie is, should the steadfast wife (Barbara Stanwyck) believe her philandering husband (James Mason) when he repeatedly promises to reform and stop seeing his old girlfriend (Ava Gardner). Or should that steadfast wife say enough is enough and start her life anew, possibly with the upright, charming cop/reporter/agent (Van Heflin) who's just wandered into her life? The murder is just a side issue, really, but the library decided that meant it should classify this as a Mystery. Which is actually a good thing, because if this movie had been lost in the vast Drama section, I probably wouldn't have seen it, borrowed it, and um, well, er, uh, heh heh... gotten a crush on Van Heflin.


Sigh. Smile. Grin. Bounce. Sigh again.

This is a funny kind of crush, I've gotta say. Because I've seen Van Heflin in several movies, like 3:10 to Yuma and Shane and Battle Cry and The Three Musketeers and Grand Central Murder, and I always thought he was a good actor and okay to look at, but nothing to make me dust off my swooning couch. But boy howdy, was he just cute as a button in this! All sweet, non-home-wrecking, gosh-I-wish-I'd-met-you-before-you-married-that-jerk, upstanding, cute... and you should see him playing someone who'se pretending to be drunk! Hot diggety dog! Hamlette's having another spring fling, folks. The boy next door turned out to be a lot more interesting than she'd thought. I think I'll try to watch this one again before I take it back to the library.


  1. Hee! At least I'm not alone now this fine new spring. I've got George, you've got Van.

    And dude, now you gotta check out Strange Loves of Martha Ivers. Also Presenting Lily Mars, and if they have it, Act of Violence. :-D

  2. Oh yes, definitely gonna watch Martha Ivers now. Maybe tomorrow ;-) And I intend to rewatch Battle Cry soon too. Is Lily Mars on our Jerry discs?

    I was just thinking on Saturday that I haven't had a spring fling yet, and that the movie I picked up at the library would be no help cuz I knew everyone in it already. Hee.

  3. No, we don't have Lily Mars, alas. I got it from Netflix.

    I was just thinking on Saturday that I haven't had a spring fling yet, and that the movie I picked up at the library would be no help cuz I knew everyone in it already. Hee.LOL!! That's like I got Invisible Stripes for WH... and found myself intrigued by the new guy with the redemption character arc, doing that toughness/vulnerability thing that always seems to get me. Not to mention he was as good-looking as WH. But it wasn't until I screencapped it and realized that 99% of the shots where all of George, not WH, that I realized spring had sprung and I was gone. LOL!


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