The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit

1956, Movie, NR, 152 mins


Middle-class middle-America...the inside story? Hardly, but nonetheless a surprisingly engrossing, if shallow and overlong, Hollywood vision of 1950s thirtysomethings, with Peck turning in a dignified title role.

Tom Rath has a $10K mortgage, three brats, and psycho-Betsy (Jones). Fun. He also has bad memories of WWII, where he knifed a German during a freezing winter for his coat, had a fling with wistful peasant Maria (Pavan), and threw a grenade which accidentally killed his best friend. Oops. Acquiring a new, lucrative position writing speeches for avuncular company president Ralph (March), Tom must choose between working overtime on the job or on his relationship with psycho-Betsy. Hmm. And what about his grandmother's estate? And that kid he fathered during the war? My! Don't worry--Lee J. Cobb is on hand to tell us at the finale that "God's in His heaven and all's right with the world." Whew.

Totally hollow trash, with a hysteria-prone Jennifer Jones displaying an odd crease down the middle of her face. So slickly dished up, though, you can feel yourself sliding around on the sofa. Nice to see Ann Harding. leave a comment

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