From the Terrace

1960

Action / Drama / Romance

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 30%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 61%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 2149

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Paul Newman as David Alfred Eaton
Barbara Eden as Clemmie Shreve
Joanne Woodward as Mary St. John
Myrna Loy as Martha Eaton
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.07 GB
1280*544
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 29 min
P/S 4 / 4
2.23 GB
1920*816
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 29 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SimonJack 7 / 10

Big screen melodrama common for its day

"From the Terrace" is an example of a type of the melodrama that Hollywood turned out from the late 1950s to early 1970s. Films such as this and "Peyton Place" of 1957, "Home from the Hill" of 1960, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" of 1961, and others came close to being soap operas. They had the good and the bad, often in the same person or people. The stories were different and usually interesting enough to hold an audience's attention. But the plots were definitely more melodramatic than good drama or story telling. Romance was usually a part of all of them, and most often they were about struggles in marriage, infidelity, family breakups, etc. The usual stuff of soapers, under various genres.

This one is a lavish production by 20th Century Fox, based on a novel by John O'Hara. It hits on another theme that was common in the Mid- 20th century – after WW II and Korea. A man, striving to get ahead, becomes a workaholic and in the course neglects his wife. Not all wives are unfaithful to hubby, as is Joan Woodward's Mary St. John. And, not all men wind up unfaithful to their wives as does Paul Newman's David Eaton.

Having seen this film when it came out in 1960, as I recall, I might have seen Newman as the poor hero and good guy whose wife dumps on him. But, it's amazing how time and a little maturity yields some wisdom. Because the blame for the breakup of the marriage here is definitely Newman's Eaton. He knew the woman he married, and his ambition and drive led him to forget her. It doesn't excuse her carousing and infidelity, but it shows what led to that.

This film probably is viewed as very slow by 21st century audiences. It has some glamorous sets. The cast is very good, especially Joanne Woodward. She was one of the most talented actresses of the 20th century. Paul Newman was a fine leading man in a variety of genres, and a good entertainer. But his acting wasn't anything exceptional. The young Ina Balin won a Golden Globe as the most promising newcomer in 1960. She was in some good movies after this, but her star never quite reached to the heavens. She died at age 52 of a heart problem.

Others of the supporting cast are very good. Leon Ames has a fine role as Samuel Eaton and Myrna Loy has a small part as his wife, Martha Eaton. Elizabeth Allen is the flamboyant, brassy rich broad, Sage Rimmington. She plays the part well, and it's the only way to describe her. Patrick O'Neal is Mary St. John's lover on the side. Felix Aymer is very good as David Eaton's boss and the head of the blue blood, Wall Street, and wealthy MacHardie's, James Duncan MacHardie.

In an exchange with Eaton, MacHardie articulates a wise philosophy that had guided civilization for centuries. James MacHardie, "There are no grounds for divorce. And if you need my personal theology, infidelity is the lesser sin. I will do anything in my power to prevent a divorce." David Alfred Eaton, "Including condoning infidelity?" MacHardie, "I consider your word 'condoning' disrespectful. I condone none of it. The problem of infidelity is between husband and wife and God. The problem of divorce concerns the whole of civilization. What is marriage? An exchange of vows, a contract. It is my duty to myself and to any man who is working for me to demand that he honor all of his contracts. When you came here, you found out that we always honor our word, even if it means taking a loss."

Many of these films, of course, are about well-to-do if not outright filthy rich people. In this film, David and Mary live a high life style. One might wonder where they got the money in their early stage. But, they live and socialize in high society, and among the young rich – two different groups. I don't know how that may resonate with audiences in the 21st century, when most people seem to live as much for fun and entertainment as for family or other things. But back then, the folks who lived the high life were quite distant from the vast majority of people, and they often were the envy of the common man.

Reviewed by Ian 8 / 10

What One Sacrifices For Success

(Flash Review)

While not a unique core plot, it is highly engaging to watch how the story of a man driven for success leaves little time for the woman in his life. Paul Newman plays a young man trying to be his own man and get out of his father's successful legacy. Kicking off his business plan to generate financial profits, he begins to work his way up the social ladder as well as mingle with high society women. Will he have a stronger relationship with his business objectives or with the opposite sex? Will any holes he digs for himself become future potholes and will his life values ever mature? Basics questions asked in many dramas but they unfold in an entertaining way as you live the high life with Newman and many interesting story subplots in this well-written and paced drama.

Reviewed by JohnHowardReid 6 / 10

Dullsville!

Photographed in CinemaScope. Lenses by Bausch & Lomb. Westrex Sound System. Producer: Mark Robson.

Copyright 1960 by Linebrook Corp. Released by 20th Century-Fox Film Corp. New York opening at the Paramount and the Murray Hill: 15 July 1960. U.S. release: July 1960. U.K. release: 14 August 1960. Australian release: 22 September 1960. 12,948 feet. 144 minutes.

SYNOPSIS: Paul Newman plays Alfred Eaton, a young Philadelphian of good family who returns from World War I to find his mother, Martha Eaton (Myrna Loy) bogged down in alcohol and his father, Samuel Eaton (Leon Ames) a wealthy businessman, as unfeeling and autocratic as ever. Alfred is uptight with his father because the elder Eaton continues to idolize his dead older brother, to whose memory Alfred is still playing second fiddle. Alfred scorns employment in the family business to take off for New York, where he joins his friend Lex Porter (George Grizzard) in an aeronautics venture.

NOTES: With the initial gross domestic rentals topping a hefty $5.2 million, the film came in number 8 at the U.S./Canadian box-office for 1960. (The movie didn't take anything like this sort of money in England or Australia).

COMMENT: Boring. You either like long-winded John O'Hara novels or you don't. I don't. You either like Paul Newman as a rich kid or you don't. I don't. You either like Joanne Woodward or you don't. I can either take her or leave her, preferably the latter. (The other players are of little interest, either because of their own innate lack of personality or because their roles are too small to make any impression. The one exception is Myrna Loy whose gauche performance here is best passed over in silence).

Admittedly, I am way in the minority. Most people love Newman, Woodward, O'Hara (in that order). As for Robson and Lehman, despite their prominence in the advertising, most people couldn't care less. My sentiments exactly.

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