Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bus Stop (1956)


DIRECTOR Joshua Logan
Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray, Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field, Eileen Heckart, Robert Bray, Hope Lange, Hans Conried, Max Showalter



The thesis of the film seems to be that, though opposites may not attract, two individuals with real but complementary needs can make their way toward a fulfilling relationship. As Beau tells Cheri at the end: If I have no experience with love and you have too much, maybe we can meet somewhere in the middle. The viewer is intended to feel humor toward and sympathy for both the cowboy and the saloon singer; and I at least do, even after having seen the movie 7 or 8 times. The cast is uniformly excellent. As often noted, Monroe has never been better in subtly conveying a range of emotions. It is difficult to avoid comparing Cheri's history and needs with her own pursuit of success as an actress. Murray is hilarious as the naive cowboy in the first sequences, until the unattractive side of his innocence appears and must be subdued before the finale. For an old timer like myself, it was great to see Betty Field playing against the fragile character she created in a few films from the 40s.



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