"Herman Wouk's bestseller about a Kentucky-born writer's spectacular rise and fall among the big city glitterati gets the big-screen treatment courtesy of Warner Bros master of melodrama Delmer Daves. Daves, fresh from a string of successes, recruited celebrated composer Max Steiner to score the film, adding gravitas to the glitz.
James Franciscus stars as the title character, a truck driver who arrives in New York City intent on making it as a writer. Aided by a friendly editor Jeanne Green (Suzanne Pleshette) Hawk's star is on the rise, both among the intelligentsia and the jet set. Hawk inevitaby succumbs to the lures of high society, breaking Jeanne's heart and eventually seeing his career destroyed by the jealous husband of one of his paramours."
Every cliche is lovingly polished as our truck driver hero moves to New York to take the city by storm at the hot new novelist. It must have been an important project for Daves as he also wrote the script. Wouk had written those other blockbusters like THE CAINE MUTINY and MARJORIE MORNINGSTAR - another ponderous Warners melodrama with Natalie Wood and Gene Kelly in 1958, and well worth reviewing too - so must have been a hot writer like A SUMMER PLACE's a Sloane Wilson or THE BEST OF EVERYTHING's Rona Jaffe, not to mention PEYTON PLACE's Grace Metalious. James Franciscus looks good but is rather dull - a taller duller Robert Redford - and all wrong for the hero, it needed a Steve McQueen or Paul Newman, though they had enough similar roles on their hands (like Sinatra is all wrong for me in SOME CAME RUNNING as it needed a Monty Clift or Newman rather than One-Take Frank walking through his scenes, but I digress, as usual.).