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"Strangers When We Meet", good movie


FredCDobbs
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I guess this was a ?ladies movie? for 1960.

 

The ending wasn?t so bad. During the last 15 minutes, the film turned pretty good. Maybe that?s what the film was supposed to be all about.... family and responsibility. I guess I?m used to watching too many pre-codes, in which there isn?t very much ?responsibility?.

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Kim Novak's passivity was very sexy, which is a strange thing for me to say I guess. She was supposed to be this beautiful but insecure woman who was probably traumatized by her mother's infidelity and so therefore married the first guy who asked her even though she didn't love him. She wanted immediate security, but didn't figure on a life without passion. (her prissy husband didn't even want her to SAY the word, for heaven's sake) So along comes virile Kirk who takes one look at her and knows what he wants and she sort of falls into his arms as it were. Her character just sleepwalks through life, unaware of the effect she has on men.

 

I couldn't read her expression in the car at the finale. It seemed ambiguous to me.

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I'm not sure I completely understood it. I think the house that Kirk was building for Ernie was supposed to symbolize how one constructs a life with meaning. Or something like that. Expressing one's individuality but at the same time having good foundations?

 

Who knows.

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Silly? I don?t agree. And I don?t consider it a chick flick, either. I thought it was true enough to real life, except for Barbara Rush?s reaction to Mathau?s lame come-on. A real-life woman would have laughed at his pathetic butt out of her living room as soon as he asked her to take the ribbon from her hair.

 

Kirk?s house was the tangible realization of the life he wanted to lead, with Kim at the center. Ultimately, real-life intervened, as it will, and responsibility called. He answered correctly, and Kim, being the woman she was, knew it.

 

I only wish the story had omitted Mathau?s depredation and concerned itself more with Kim?s rebuilding her life. Surely she survived this affair, and of course she and Kirk saw each other once again, after time. I would have liked seeing how her character, and her pre-occupied husband, dealt with the aftermath.

 

I?ve read a lot of Updike, so this stuff was fairly pedestrian for me, but not at all silly.

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You may be right, Bronxgirl. Kirk seemed to prefer going his own route than sticking with conformity. He wanted to build his homes his way instead of doing what everyone else planned. Perhaps that's what the home symbolized.

 

Or despite how beautiful the home looked, there's still a bit of ugliness inside. Meaning that people will look at the home and say how gorgeous it looks and that the people must live wonderful lives. We all know that inside the home (and within themselves), there's so much sadness and bitterness that the house is a bit of a mirage. Ultimately, it's all phony.

 

I really liked Strangers When We Meet. It was much better than expected. However, in the hands of Douglas Sirk or Vincente Minnelli, this film could have been truly remarkable.

 

Kim Novak was amazing here. I'll take her brilliant performance here over Vertigo anytime (sorry Vertigo fans, but it's not one of my favorites). Kirk Douglas' performance isn't bad by any means, but he doesn't seem to be the right fit for this melodrama. Another Kim Novak-William Holden collaboration would have been better. Maybe Robert Mitchum would have worked as well (I'm thinking of his great performances in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison and Two for the Seesaw as two prime examples).

 

The ending didn't seem ambiguous to me. When a tearful Novak looks at the young man who's staring and smiling at her, it seems as if she will go back to her old ways. Perhaps life will become more depressing and sad. Things will probably end terribly for Kim's character.

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You may be right, Bronxgirl. Kirk seemed to prefer going his own route than sticking with conformity. He wanted to build his homes his way instead of doing what everyone else planned. Perhaps that's what the home symbolized.

 

Or despite how beautiful the home looked, there's still a bit of ugliness inside. Meaning that people will look at the home and say how gorgeous it looks and that the people must live wonderful lives. We all know that inside the home (and within themselves), there's so much sadness and bitterness that the house is a bit of a mirage. Ultimately, it's all phony.

 

I really liked Strangers When We Meet. It was much better than expected. However, in the hands of Douglas Sirk or Vincente Minnelli, this film could have been truly remarkable.

 

Kim Novak was amazing here. I'll take her brilliant performance here over Vertigo anytime (sorry Vertigo fans, but it's not one of my favorites). Kirk Douglas' performance isn't bad by any means, but he doesn't seem to be the right fit for this melodrama. Another Kim Novak-William Holden collaboration would have been better. Maybe Robert Mitchum would have worked as well (I'm thinking of his great performances in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison and Two for the Seesaw as two prime examples).

 

The ending didn't seem ambiguous to me. When a tearful Novak looks at the young man who's staring and smiling at her, it seems as if she will go back to her old ways. Perhaps life will become more depressing and sad. Things will probably end terribly for Kim's character.

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I agree about "the call of responsibility" and Kirk's having made the right decision at the end. I'm not sure things will end as well for Kim, but I was left with the impression that there might be some hope for her.

 

Anybody else struck by the notion that Kirk's character was in some ways reminiscent of Gary Cooper's Howard Roark in THE FOUNTAINHEAD and might almost be seen as a "whatever happened to?" him ten years or so down the line from that film?

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>Ok, Dan, I've changed my mind. It is a good movie.

 

I?ve given it some more thought Fred, and you were right. This was pretty silly.

 

Seriously, you do have to wonder how Kim and her bloodless, cookie-cutter husband got together in the first place.

 

Barbara Rush though, who I?ve always found very attractive, is quite believable as the loving wife turned suspicious, fighting for her marriage until she just can?t take it anymore. I believed every word of her ?I can?t live without you? scene. A heartbreaker.

 

Bronxbabe said she thought Kim?s expression in the last shot was ambiguous. I took it as, ?Oh please, guys. Not again. I?ve had enough.? I think all her character really wanted was her husband. Or A husband. Of her own, I mean.

 

Kirk a lech? Mathau was the lech. Maybe Mathau?s character was contrast against Kirk?s, as if to say, yeah Kirk?s a cheater, but he?s not stupid and disgusting about it. He was just in love.

 

And I?m glad Sirk wasn?t involved here. He would have schmaltzed things up with swelling violins and lingering close-ups showing how Kim and Kirk can?t wait to touch. That?s fine, but I like having one forbidden love story from this era that at least tries to be real, even if it doesn?t quite hit the target.

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I've always liked this movie very much and have the dvd. It's strange to see two such larger-than-life movie stars playing suburbanites, but they sure are more interesting than real ones would be so that's perfect for me. And I feel chemistry between them. I think the ending is well done, in the empty, completed house. Director Richard Quine's house.

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I watched this movie last night and I did enjoy it.

 

My take and sweet and short:

 

Kirk meets Kim and the spark is there...

 

Kirk and Kim know it is wrong but still satisfy their appetites.

 

Kirk learns Kim has done this before...

 

Kirk, maybe unlike others, truly loves her and boldly goes to her home with Kim's mom there.

 

Kirk loves her so much he confronts her at the amusement park and suggests that they break

and become one. Kim coolly turns him down. She likes the status quo.

 

Walter Matthau attempts to take advantage of Barbara Rush but she does not succumb to her appetite and tells him to get out.

 

Kirk, in the end, knows he's got a very good deal with Barbara Rush and stays with her and goes

to Hawaii.

 

Kirk tells Kim he truly loves her, I believe does, but shes knows it must end and understands.

 

Kim rides out and sees another smiling face..

 

Kirk is not the last one she will bed...

 

Message was edited by: JakeHolman

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I have never found kirk douglas attractive

his face is too craggy

 

kim novak was DDG Drop Dead Gorgeous in this movie

 

I saw this as a kid on tv and after seeing it again after all these years I have to say I had a problem with Kim Novak's whispery hushed voice

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I like this movie and used it, I think, in the first Challenge contest we had on these boards. My theme was a mystery theme, but it dealt with Hollywood suicides. Richard Quine committed suicide. And I do think this film has a Fountain Head connection, but it would be an anti-Fountain Head one, because Howard Roark was all about himself and wouldn't let a woman influence him in any way.

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