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No Down Payment


TawfikZone
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I'm curious if there is anyone else who is a fan of the 1957 Fox film No Down Payment. I think it's unjustly underrated and overlooked as it deals with a myriad of sociological issues of suburbia in an unrelentingly adult manner. It certainly belongs in the same class as the better known Rebel Without a Cause, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, and Bigger Than Life.

 

Here's my full review: http://tawfikzone.com/?p=143

 

What are your thoughts? Do you remember the first time you saw the film? Do you want to see it? Please share.

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I agree. I saw it once a few years ago on Fox Movie Channel during a brief time when I got that channel before my cable service changed and I had to pay much more to keep it. (Why, oh why, can't they bundle FoxMC with TCM?) Re: "NDP" Good cast, interesting multiple storylines, thoughtful reflection on its time and place. I'd like to see it again.

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I'm so glad to know of the two of you and your love of this movie. I recently saw it again on the Fox Movie Channel. I certainly do remember the first time I saw it. Of course, I was taken by the tremendous cast. What a line-up of actors! One of my most vivid memories is how impressed I was with Patricia Owens. Her scene right after being attacked just blew me away. Too bad she didn't go on to greater success.

 

Terrence.

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A movie I remember seeing as a kid (I sought it out because I liked Sheree North), and later on AMC (I believe), and of course, most recently on FMC. I always liked it, what a great cast. It will be on again in the next few days on FMC; I will try to remember to post the time and date here.

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I too, like this movie. I first saw it in the 70's when Sheree North was starring in *Movin' On* and thought she was more beautiful with age. She was a good actress, see *The Shootist* and you'll agree with both my conclusions.

 

I also seem to remember Cameron Mitchell's character, Troy, having issues with what we now call "delayed stress syndrome" from being a WWII veteran. If so, much like the men of *The Best Years of Our Lives* it proves that the condition didn't start with Viet Nam.

 

I remember when such a subdivision was built near my house in the early 50's. Classmates of mine moved there and I wanted us to as well. My father said we couldn't afford to. The inhabitants were all white with the houses pretty much alike and in pastel tones. Today they are all Afro-American and in colors of orange, green and brown you can see for blocks.

 

People did live beyond their means back then. If my folks could get a Sears credit card anybody could. In 1955 all our Christmas presents were put on it; first there was a delivery snafu then Dad had to pay down the card balance to get them. We got our goodies on Epiphany that year.

 

The movie must have had a lot of authentiticy to evoke memories like this. I think we see that the 50's aren't the "good old days" they're so often thought of.

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I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who loves this movie. Terence1, I agree that Patricia Owens was fantastic, particularly in the scene you mention.

 

Thanks for sharing your interesting story wouldbestar. Are there any other movies of the period that you could relate to?

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I saw it years ago as a child when one of the networks showed it. I recently recorded it from the Fox channel (last fall) and it holds up very well. Great cast and everyone does a fine job (particularly Joanne Woodward early in her career...)

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It's a good time capsule...houses, cars, clothes, attitudes. I loved Jeffrey Hunter in a buzz cut way more than I ever did in hippie drag in "The King of Kings". The dialogue can be a little overripe, but that's part of the fun in seeing a movie so rooted in its era trying to break out of the mold. Some years back Movieline Magazine had a feature called "Bad Movies We Love" and this was one of them. The two guys who wrote it parlayed it into a book and even, briefly, a hosting gig on TNT to show some of the movies they skewered. The backhanded compliment they paid to this movie was that it prefigured John Waters in the sharpness of its social satire and the luridness of some of the dialogue. Every time I watch it now I can't help seeing it with that in mind.

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I agree it's not a bad movie per se. Some of the choices in that book were baffling at first, yet I could usually see their point. Besides "No Down Payment", they also picked "The Long Hot Summer" with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, "Strangers When We Meet" with Kirk Douglas and Kim Novak and "Walk on The Wild Side" with Jane Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck, none of which I think of as bad movies either, but their reviews could still make me giggle at the aptness of what they were saying. I like "No Down Payment" and have seen it half a dozen times.

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Yeah, I remember their summaries and comments on the films were quite funny. I still have the book around somewhere. (Bad Movies We Love)...No Down Payment was first a book. I remember my mother having a paperback copy. The book was probably a bit more graphic then the movie (which was still pretty steamy for the 50s......)

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Tawfik Zone wrote:

Thanks for sharing your interesting story wouldbestar. Are there any other movies of the period that you could relate to?

 

*Payment on Demand* is a movie whose title I often confuse with *No Down Payment*; in fact I did yesterday until it started. That one is about divorce and Bette Davis' character more than matches Joan Crawford'd *Harriett Craig.* (I can just see them both rolling over in their graves at that comparison). It's a very honest depiction of how it affects all family members, even grown children. Bette, who knew plenty about the topic, speaks fondly about it in her first bio and for once I'm on her side. Yes, my folks did it as well as my sister and I; I guess we all didn't remember the lessons hard enough.

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PAYMENT ON DEMAND was filmed under the title STORY OF A DIVORCE. It was actually Bette Davis' first film she did after leaving Warner Brothers. She did it before AAE, but released later; I think the studio heard the buzz about wunderkind's Joseph Mankiewicz' upcoming release,.and hedged its bets. Successfully, since POD came out in the aftermath of all the acclaim for the Fox film,.and benefited from that. It is a thoughful drama, wuth Davis fairly subdued.

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I can take NDP either straight up as a soap operaish story of young

hormonal types with a limited understanding of basic financial matters

or, seen much later, as a piece of pretty delicious camp. Both ways

work. Would you really buy a used car from Felix Unger? For those

who don't mind going the YT route, it is presently available there.

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