INDISCRETION OF AN AMERICAN WIFE
B&W, 63 min.
Released: May 10, 1954 (Columbia)
Cast: Jennifer Jones (as Mary Forbes), Montgomery Clift, Gino Cervi, Richard Beymer.
Director: Vittorio De Sica
Producer: Vittorio De Sica
Tagline: "This longing...this yearning...this waiting!!"
Complete Credits at IMDB
Set in Rome's massive Terminal Station, this is the story of a sad farewell between a married American woman and her Italian lover.
The Italian director, Vittoria De Sica had earned quite a reputation among film critics in the early 1950's. His The Bicycle Thief was recognized as an instant classic and he was heralded as the chief instigator of the "neo-realist" style. Selznick approached De Sica about doing a film with Jennifer and he accepted his offer. Terminal Station was based on a story by Cesare Zavattini. De Sica had many fall-outs with Selznick during the filming and as usual, the completed film did not satisfy Selznick. It was another repeat of the Gone To Earth episode as Selznick brought the film back to Hollywood and re-edited it. He shaved the film down to a mere 63 minutes and changed the title. It was a failure upon release although De Sica's version gained some popularity overseas.
Indiscretion Of An American Wife is not a bad film. Jennifer, with her hair short and wearing a beautiful suit by Christian Dior, is gorgeous as is Montgomery Clift. Their chemistry together is quite good and some of their love scenes are very intense. The plot is indeed minimal but this is more of a character study and the actors and their emotions are the pivotal driving force here. Jennifer may seem too refined and elegant for a housewife but her performance is quite strong and many of her finest scenes are those without dialog where we can clearly read her thoughts and emotions in her face. Clift is good also, although his Italian accent comes and goes.
Truman Capote was credited with the dialog for the film although he later claimed that his contribution was only a few lines.
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