Two for the Seesaw (1962)

Approved   |    |  Drama, Romance


Two for the Seesaw (1962) Poster

Robert Wise directs Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine in this spicy and poignant love story about a free-spirited Greenwich Village girl who hooks up with a brooding Nebraska lawyer. In HD.


6.7/10
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  • Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine in Two for the Seesaw (1962)
  • Robert Mitchum in Two for the Seesaw (1962)
  • Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine in Two for the Seesaw (1962)
  • Robert Mitchum in Two for the Seesaw (1962)
  • Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine in Two for the Seesaw (1962)
  • Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine in Two for the Seesaw (1962)

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12 November 2003 | editorbob
7
| Beautiful but frustrating
This film is a good example of why I love black & white movies.

Director Wise, cinematographer Ted McCord, and production

designer Boris Leven craft light, shadow, and line into two hours of

absolutely lovely images, making the most of such elements as

the contrast between MacLaine's hair, eyes, and skin, and the

juxtaposition of the hard lines of doorframes and shadows with

the softness of rumpled fabric and fluid dancer's movement. (And I

loved the split set.) Total eye candy for B&W lovers, and an

incidental, abrupt reminder of what a beautiful woman the young

Shirley was.

Unfortunately, the script seems very dated here in the twenty-first

century. The characters' relationship is frustrating, and (reported

offscreen chemistry notwithstanding) MacLaine and Mitchum look

very much mismatched. (Supposedly it was originally to be Liz

Taylor and Paul Newman. I can't see Liz here, but a MacLaine- Newman pairing could have been hot. But we'll never know.) I

found MacLaine's character to be much more believable--more

rounded, containing more nuance--than Mitchum's. While this

seems mostly the script's fault, I do feel that MacLaine here brings

more quirky humanity to her work than does Mitchum (who I like

very much in general).

"Seesaw" stands out for me as one of those films that, because of

its meticulous attention to visual detail, becomes an archetypal

period piece as it ages--firmly among the films everyone making a

movie set in the early 1960s should study carefully.

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