Angela Lansbury, never better - the widow woman in her prime who still has her needs, but settles for what she can get and realises that Ruben is a family man. There is that lovely scene as she advises Cora that if she will not make love with her husband then other women like her are willing to ..... McGuire, whom one does not usually think of in connection with leading '50s actresses, has another lovely role here, as a devoted wife, as in FRIENDLY PERSUASION opposite Cooper in '56, and the mother in SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON, as well as those wives and mothers in A SUMMER PLACE, SUSAN SLADE (as per reviews at Troy Donahue label), and others, and two leads with Clifton Webb in THREE COINS IN THE FOUNTAIN and THE REMARKABLE MR PENNYPACKER, in 1959 - that one is coming up soon.
Delbert Mann's film of Inge's play is a marvellously engrossing film - my favourite Inge, it is not just a nostalgia piece, but captures the changing times, sexual repression, anti-Semitism (the country club dance is "restricted" as Shirley Knight's Jewish
date is brutally told), and snobbery of that kind of Midwest town.
All the sadness and joy of human life is here, it gets very emotional like the lovely scene between father and daughter, and that nice climax. Lee Kinsolving too scores as the young man, he only lived to be 36. More Inge at reviews of ALL FALL DOWN and BUS RILEY IS BACK IN TOWN (1962, 1965, Trash labels) and THE STRIPPER.
I find Inge's hits PICNIC and BUS STOP problematic - Holden is too old and Roz Russell too OTT in the former and its all rather too saccharine, whereas that one-dimensional cowboy and his folksy mentor Virgil are just too annoying in the latter, despite Cherie's best efforts,