This film was Jerry Wald's swan song, and it was not a proper way to end such an illustrious career. This was a mess, although it had several good creative talents behind it. William Inge's 1959 play "A Loss of Roses" was a flop, so one can only question why it was acquired as a motion
picture property. Supposedly written for Marilyn Monroe, it's setting is the familiar Kansas territory of Inge's background. Woodward is the stripper, a woman who couldn't make it in the movies and is now working in a traveling troupe as a dancer. Her lover and the show's manager is Webber. The
group arrives in the tiny Kansas town where Woodward spent some of her formative years, and Webber uses the opportunity to skip out on her with all of the money from the group. Stranded, Woodward moves in with old friend Trevor, a widow with a 19-year-old son, Beymer. It isn't long before Beymer
is casting moon-eyes at Woodward, even though she's older and far wiser than he is. Beymer is seeing Lynley but calls a halt to their relationship and rashly proposes marriage to Woodward. She likes the attention but, deep inside, knows that it's an infatuation, little more. Webber comes back to
the town with an offer for Woodward to work. He's booked a stag show and needs a stripper. Despite misgivings, she performs, and Beymer is at the show. He is at once repelled and attracted by what he sees. He can't bear the thought of the woman he thinks he loves being subjected to the lecherous
leers of the men who watch her, so he again asks for her hand. She refuses once more and decides that it's time for her to take stock of herself, quit show business, and settle down. Woodward's character is pathetic, the script is anemic and smacks of TEA AND SYMPATHY in the older woman-young man
situation, and the entire picture lacks conviction. Beymer is better than his role and so is Lynley. Louis Nye and Gypsy Rose Lee do well with what little humor they are given, and Michael J. Pollard has some good moments. The working titles for this film were "A Woman in July" and "Celebration."
It did receive an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: This film was Jerry Wald's swan song, and it was not a proper way to end such an illustrious career. This was a mess, although it had several good creative talents behind it. William Inge's 1959 play "A Loss of Roses" was a flop, so one can only question w… (more)