Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift have never looked more beautiful in their lives than they do in A Place in the Sun, but Shelley Winters’ performance kills me. She breaks my heart, I can feel myself holding my breath during her scenes, she is spectacular. Don’t get me wrong, I hold my breath during Liz and Monty’s scenes too, but Shelley is everything when she is on camera. It is not an easy movie, it is not a happy movie, but it is absolutely everything.
A Place in the Sun is a 1951 American drama film based on the 1925 novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser and the play, also titled An American Tragedy. It tells the story of a working-class young man who is entangled with two women; one who works in his wealthy uncle’s factory and the other a beautiful socialite. The novel had been filmed once before, as An American Tragedy, in 1931.
The film was a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards and the first ever Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama. In 1991, A Place in the Sun was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.