Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Tormenta entre dos Pasiones

No, not some lurid Euro-trash shocker, but the Spanish title for TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS, a 1979 telemovie starring our perennial favourite Lee Remick. Here she is a typical happily married housewife who meets cute with George Peppard (a divorced architect, of course) when they are both stranded at a snowed-in airport - he rescues her Klimpt poster "The Kiss" and carries her off to a VIP area he has access to, where they quaff champagne and really get on. Then she gets her flight back to Chicago next morning and resumes her marriage to solid, dependable Italian guy Joe Bologna. Then she discovers George's gloves in her overcoat pocket - they had gone for a walk in the snow (it all takes place in a snowy world) and he had lent them to her .... She calls him about returning them, and pretty soon they are having a full blown affair. Lee's Diane is simply in love with two men, as well as her art gallery job, and various family events, large meals etc, with that extended Italian family.  

Finally her guilt gets too much and she has to confesss. Joe of course is angry ... George applies no pressure but wants her to be with him. Lee prevaricates but finally makes her decision. This is superb tosh, brilliantly done. Delbert Mann directs (he did MARTY, and favouites like SEPARATE TABLES, THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS, LOVER COME BACK etc) and its a good role for Remick who is centre stage, the two men are more oblique characters. We saw Lee and Peppard growing up in the movies, from their early roles in the late 50s through the 60s and 70s. Here they are older and more mature. Its from a hit song, apparantly, but is a nice old-fashioned 'tv movie of the week' treat now, but is only available in a Spanish dvd edition. Lee was always a working actress, combining film, tv and stage until her untimely death at 55 in 1991.

BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL. Remick (I met her in 1970 when she was living in London, and saw her on the stage as Cherie in BUS STOP in London in 1976, with Keir Dullea as that annoying cowboy (Remick, NFT labels), has a rather similar role in 1965's BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL, one of those Pakula-Robert Mulligan films, shot in nice black and white, with an Elmer Bernstein score, set in that fabled American backwoods/deep south, based on Horton Foote's "The Travelling Lady".  It was though thrown away here in the UK as was released as the lower part of a double feature, and edited. Good its on dvd now. Lee, as in WILD RIVER and others, plays with her usual yearning the role of the young wife married to bad boy Steve McQueen.  As the blurb says:
"Steve McQueen and Lee Remick ignite sparks in this impassioned drama about a rootless drifter and the woman who loves him. Georgette (Remick) arrives with her small daughter in Columbus, Texas, to join her husband (McQueen) who has just been paroled from the state penitentiary. He had been serving time for stabbing a man in a drunken brawl. His hopes pinned to a career as a songwriter, he returns to singing and playing guitar in bawdy roadhouses. Slim (Don Murray) a quiet-spoken deputy sheriff, grows attached to Georgette and the child and does what he can to keep the volatile McQueen in line. But when his tantrums become increasingly more violent, Slim is forced to stop him, bringing the film to a shattering climax".
From that nice opening of Lee and daughter travelling in the greyhound bus, this is an engaging pleasing film, good to see it again after this time. Incidentally, one of Lee's early roles was that sad little saloon girl giving her savings to Don Murray in his 1959 western starrer THESE THOUSAND HILLS - here he is supporting as Lee takes centre stage. 
Soon: Lee in SUMMER AND SMOKE for the BBC in 1972.


  1. I've never seen Torn Between Two Lovers but watched Baby the Rain Must Fall last year and was quite taken with it. I was especially taken with Lee in the rather sad rambling film, the kind Hollywood doesn't make anymore. Don Murray didn't really make much of an impression but Steve was very moving in that way he had of humanizing difficult men on screen. Perhaps since from what I've read he was a difficult man off he had insights into how to make such a character work. Horton Foote's screenplay showed his customary understanding of how people react and interact with each other. I also admired Ernest Laszlo stark black and white cinematography that evoked the dusty small town Texas setting in a way color never could. You might find a film like this either on the indie circuit or maybe on cable today but certainly not in major markets as this was and hardly with stars of this magnitude, which is a crying shame.

  2. Lovely comments on BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL, indeed the kind of little film not made by the big studios any more, and is indeed a perfect little indie film.