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      The Country Girl

      Released May 17, 1955 1 hr. 44 min. Drama List
      75% 8 Reviews Tomatometer 77% 2,500+ Ratings Audience Score This adaptation of Clifford Odets' stage drama features Bing Crosby as the hard-drinking Frank Elgin, a once-popular Broadway star whose glory days have passed. When director Bernie Dodd (William Holden) gives Elgin a role in his new musical, he must also deal with the actor's sour and ever-present wife, Georgie (Grace Kelly), who Dodd believes is the cause of her husband's failure. However, as Dodd spends more time around Georgie, the truth about her husband becomes clear. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Premiered Mar 13 Buy Now

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      Audience Reviews

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      Alec B It has some great monologues and I think that the performances are generally very good (Holden in particular) but it feels too melodramatic for the serious themes to be given the proper weight. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/27/24 Full Review Mark A Grace Kelly is miscast, but does a decent job. She did not deserve the Oscar. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/20/22 Full Review steve d Passable in every way. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member I was not impressed by the acting of Bing Crosby in Going My Way (1944) and because of this I had very low expectations heading into The Country Girl which I expected to be dull and boring. What a shock then that I found myself rather enjoying this film and being drawn into the involving and sometimes depressing story. Even the musical performances appealed to me as Crosby does have a truly great voice and the film knows how to surround with a minimal background that really lets his talents shine. This may be one of my favorite musicals, although it contains a minimal amount of music, and I really admire the performances and direction of the film. Alcoholic, washed up actor and singer Frank Elgin, Bing Crosby, is allowed to audition for a new play being put on by worn out director Bernie Dodd, William Dodd. His audition is successful but he appears to be nervous about taking the job because he claims that his wife, Georgie, Grace Kelly, is overbearing and wants him to fail. Dodd supports him, in part influenced by his hatred of his own ex-wife, and cuts down the hapless Georgie as Frank continues to fail and is haunted by memories of his young son's death and his previously successful career. A shocking twist is revealed as we understand that Georgie is not in any way abusive but is simply trying to help her husband while he leans on the excuse of grief to drink and drown himself in his misery. After a brief dalliance occurs between Bernie and Georgie she returns to her husband after he achieves professional success. What makes the film unique, at least for an early 1950s film, is it's willingness to interact with dark subject matter like alcoholism and cheating. I appreciated the fact that we spent time with the characters as they stewed over their vices and struggled to move past them. Sometimes this results in a spontaneous musical number from Crosby, "The Search is Through", or sometimes a sad little moment in which we witness a man at the end of his tether. This variety and unpredictably was interesting to see when dealing with material that could very easily get bogged down in simply being sad or self-serious. The film doesn't convey it's message as well as The Lost Weekend (1945) and Leaving Las Vegas (1995) but for a film that attempts to balance as many different tones as this one does I would say that this film is very successful. The work of the actors is also admirable as Crosby gives a committed performance in the lead role and although the more dramatic moments have not necessarily aged well for the time they were very good. Holden is rather stolid in the lead role but he is handed dialogue that requires him to be quite shouty throughout most of the film and knowing that Holden is capable of being brilliant in Network (1976) and Sunset Boulevard (1950) I expected more. As for Kelly I am aware that her Best Actress win is rather controversial because so many people adore Judy Garland's performance in A Star Is Born (1954) but I have never been a fan of Garland and I think that Jane Wyman is turning in the best female performance of the year in Magnificent Obsession (1954). Evaluating Kelly on her own I think that she handles this more weighty and dramatic role admirably as her torture and eventual resignation to her husband's condition come through in the physical elements of her performance and she complements the more showy performances of the male leads well. For modern audiences this will not appeal as much as On the Waterfront (1954) or White Christmas (1954) because it doesn't have an iconic performance, scene or song that you could point to as being incredible. You need to watch the film as a whole in order to appreciate it and even as it ends with a slightly melodramatic turn it feels touching because we have been invested in these characters for so long. I found something to appreciate in it even in it's quieter moments and I hope that others will be able to appreciate the simple joys it provides. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member I stopped watching when Bing Crosby's character kept repeating that Grace Kelly's character was weak. They both did a fine job acting, but Crosby's musical numbers didn't fit the somber storyline. This movie did not age well. Rated 1 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review Audience Member Both Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby were nominated for Oscars (Kelly won) in this adaptation of Clifford Odets' Broadway play; the film adds several singing sequences for Crosby in what might be his best on-screen performance. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Read all reviews Post a rating

      Cast & Crew

      Critics Reviews

      View All (8) Critics Reviews
      Andrew Sarris Film Culture If Seaton chooses to film Odets’ love letter to the theatre as a dull tract on alcoholism, that is his business. It is the critic’s business to discourage such ventures. Mar 28, 2022 Full Review Andrea Beach Common Sense Media Great acting, heavy themes in Old Hollywood classic. Rated: 4/5 Jan 24, 2017 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Based on Odets' play, Seaton's version is an odd, overrated melodrama about co-dependency in alcoholic marriages, with decent turns by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly as the central couple. Rated: C+ Mar 18, 2008 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews The backstage drama, when judged by today's standards, seems stagy, creaky and outdated. Rated: C+ Jan 21, 2008 Full Review Susan Granger www.susangranger.com Rated: 5/5 Dec 9, 2005 Full Review Christopher Null Filmcritic.com If you enjoy Crosby as a crooner instead of a showman, this is your movie. Rated: 3.5/5 Sep 19, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

      Movie Info

      Synopsis This adaptation of Clifford Odets' stage drama features Bing Crosby as the hard-drinking Frank Elgin, a once-popular Broadway star whose glory days have passed. When director Bernie Dodd (William Holden) gives Elgin a role in his new musical, he must also deal with the actor's sour and ever-present wife, Georgie (Grace Kelly), who Dodd believes is the cause of her husband's failure. However, as Dodd spends more time around Georgie, the truth about her husband becomes clear.
      Director
      George Seaton
      Screenwriter
      George Seaton
      Distributor
      Paramount Pictures
      Production Co
      Paramount
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 17, 1955, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      May 1, 2012
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