Combustible Celluloid
 
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With: Jennifer Jones, Montgomery Clift, Gino Cervi, Dick Beymer
Written by: Luigi Chiarini, Truman Capote, Giorgio Prosperi, from a story by Cesare Zavattini
Directed by: Vittorio De Sica
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 89
Date: 04/24/1954
IMDB

Indiscretion of an American Wife/Terminal Station (1954)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Misery Train

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Famed Italian neorealist director Vittorio de Sica (The Bicycle Thief,Umberto D.) succumbed to the lure of Hollywood when producer David O.Selznick presented him with Terminal Station, the story of a married American woman(Jennifer Jones) lingering at a train station, unable to completelybreak it off with her Italian lover (Montgomery Clift). The filmsucceeds when focusing on small moments, gestures, etc. But De Sicacan't resist loading the film up to make it feel more significant thanit really is. Selznick, of course, was displeased with the finalproduct, cut 20 minutes and retitled it Indiscretion of an AmericanWife. Truman Capote contributed to the film's dialogue, and BenHecht reportedly worked uncredited on the titles.

Criterion's 2003 DVD release presents both films, but for some reason Selznick's shorter version received more extensive restoration and is the only one with a commentary track -- it looks and sounds much better than the de Sica version. In 2020, Kino Lorber released a Blu-ray edition that includes both cuts of the film, but omits the commentary track. It also includes an eight-minute prologue with songs by Patti Page, and the theatrical trailer.

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