28 March 2001 | Bil-3
**** Effective relationship drama
Strong film version of Clifford Odets' play about an over-the-hill alcoholic singer (Bing Crosby) whose attempts at a comeback in a big Broadway musical seem to be thwarted by his long-suffering and unhappy wife (Grace Kelly), despite the assistance of a well-meaning director (William Holden). The drama is at times melodramatic (director George Seaton tends to push Kelly a little over the top) but it's still pretty potent today (and a lot more effective than the television version done in 1982 with Faye Dunaway). The film's best asset is Holden's fiery performance as the director-his energy keeps the drama pulsing. Some audience members might enjoy the laugh they get from seeing Hollywood try to make Grace Kelly look plain by throwing her behind a pair of thick glasses and a woolly sweater.