East Side, West Side (1949)

Passed   |    |  Drama, Romance

East Side, West Side (1949) Poster

A vain businessman puts strains on his happy marriage to a rich, beautiful socialite by allowing himself be be seduced by a former girlfriend.




  • James Mason and Ava Gardner in East Side, West Side (1949)
  • Barbara Stanwyck and Cyd Charisse in East Side, West Side (1949)
  • James Mason and Ava Gardner in East Side, West Side (1949)
  • James Mason and Barbara Stanwyck in East Side, West Side (1949)
  • James Mason and Ava Gardner in East Side, West Side (1949)
  • James Mason and Ava Gardner in East Side, West Side (1949)

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5 June 2011 | moonspinner55
| Ava attempts to steal Mason away from Stanwyck...look out!
Extremely busy marital melodrama which (rather unsuccessfully) lapses into a homicide investigation! New York City socialite Barbara Stanwyck loves and trusts investment counselor husband James Mason--even though he has a penchant for disappearing after-hours and returning home at four in the morning. Turns out old flame Ava Gardner is back in town; she's a high-class man-chaser who won't take no for an answer. Screenwriter Isobel Lennart, working from the novel by Marcia Davenport, starts things off routinely, but keeps adding characters until the scenario is bubbling over like a stew-pot. Van Heflin does wonders with a shapeless role as a war correspondent/ex-detective who ends up in jilted Stanwyck's kitchen, flirting with her in Italian, while Gardner is offered some juicy repartee (when Mason calls her "cheap", Ava replies, "That's what you like about me."). A country square-dance is curiously transplanted to a Manhattan penthouse, and Beverly Michaels' supporting performance congeals into high camp; still, Barbara and Van have an immediate rapport--one that is not apparent in her scenes with Mason (who doesn't help his cause by portraying the cad-husband like a petulant boy). Stanwyck, outfitted and coiffed like a lady ten times her age, initially doesn't have much to do, but Lennart's script soon has her traveling all over the city--east side, west side, and beyond. It's a nervous, flighty picture, paced exhaustively by director Mervyn LeRoy, but overall quite watchable. **1/2 from ****

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