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4.0 out of 5 stars
Country Girl [DVD]
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2005
The beautiful Grace Kelly was awarded with the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as the long-suffering, embittered wife Georgie Elgin in The Country Girl, and rightly so. It's a beautifully understated performance and an interesting departure for Kelly, who obviously had the guts to take up such an unglamorous role and make it her own.
But the Country Girl isn't just about Grace Kelly. Bing Crosby and William Holden also turn in absolutely knockout performances and manage to hold their own against the actress in this unashamedly theatrical melodrama.
Based on Clifford Odets' play, The Country Girl is all about lies and deceit, and disappointment and blame; it's the story of a washed up, alcoholic actor, and his wife, who has spent the last ten years of her life caring for him, even though she's gone to seed because of it.
Bing Crosby stars as Frank Elgin. Frank is desperate to get back onto the stage. A natural showman, and a once famous singer, Frank has sunk to an all time low after a terrible accident took the life of his young son. Wracked with guilt and blaming himself for his death, Frank had turned to the bottle, with his control freak wife Georgie (Kelly) left to pick up the pieces.
But Frank is also a liar and a schemer, and tells Bernie Dodd (William Holden), his childhood idol, that it was actually Georgie who took up drinking and tried to commit suicide. This leads Bernie to treat Georgie badly, even though, after all these years, she has been trying to help Frank to stand on his own two feet.
Frank is among the best-crafted passive-aggressive characters ever and his different sets of lies to Georgie and to Frank end up in a nasty confrontation over who has Frank's best interests at heart. Frank sets it up so that he's never the bad guy and always the victim.
Each character brings their own bitterness and guilt to the situation - Frank just can't go on and let go of the pain; Georgie feels trapped in a dependent marriage, increasingly embittered; and Bernie, badly burned by his own failed marriage, sees only animosity in a women like Georgie.
Although some of the onstage dancing and singing routines are a little long and overly dull, the movie certainly makes up for this by giving us a number of rapid fire exchanges between the three lead characters. Viewers have a chance to see how Hollywood stars used to transform and enlarge performances without having to rely on the distractions of much action.
Consequently, the showdown between Bernie and Georgie is rather spectacular, it's one of the best dramatic scenes ever seen on film, even if it involves little more than angst-ridden dialogue.
But The Country Girl is mostly worth watching for the exquisite Grace Kelly who just shines as the character, who refers to herself as a simple "country girl" but who clearly contains far more wisdom, pent-up desires, and street smarts than she's willing to let on. Mike Leonard September 05.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
In "The Country Girl", Bing Crosby is an alcoholic singer and actor who is given one last chance in a new play. Afraid of confrontation, in a conversation with the play's director (played by William Holden) he blames his problems on his wife (Grace Kelly). However, far from being the source of his problems, she's the only one who seems to be able to get him going through rehearsals. Never being quite as good as it could be, the film is quite enjoyable though, and this is mostly because of Kelly (who won an Oscar) and Crosby, both of them giving very good performances. William Holden suffers in an underdeveloped part, where he never seems completely at ease.
The DVD presents a transfer that although sharp and with a good looking black and white, has nevertheless scratches and small imperfections from time to time. It's a pity that after this distributor has shown that they can care of their classic library (in "Roman Holiday" and "Sunset Blvd."), they now release this film as a bare-bone, with none or little love put into it.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 5 August 2005
I was surprised how good an actor Bing Crosby was, especially the scene where he is listening to some music on the radio and it reminds him of how his son was killed. This must be the best Bing Crosby film I've seen, even better than the Road films!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Years ago, Frank Elgin (Bing Crosby) was a successful singer and actor, but a tragedy turned him in to an alcoholic loser and his wife, Georgie (Grace Kelly), into a bitter shrew. A young Broadway director (William Holden) wants Frank to star in his new show, but Frank's drinking and his uncooperative wife may spell disaster.

This stark and touching drama has both Bing and Grace playing against type and they're both wonderful. Bing plays the weak has-been with utter sincerity and Grace drabs it up to play the nagging wife. She won Best Actress and he was nominated for Best Actor. The two reunited two years later in "High Society," playing carefree socialites, showing their versatility. William Holden is excellent as the demanding director who pulls a good performance out of Frank and shakes up the angry Georgie.

The script draws on the themes of guilt, alcoholism, and redemption and the black and white photography emphasizes Frank and Georgie's misery. It's a very good and thought-provoking film. 4.5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Have just read a biography about Grace Kelly where this film was mentioned. I had not seen this film, so bought it on DVD. Well pleased with it too, I can see why Grace got an Academy Award for her part, she turns in a super performance. I was also surprised by Bing Crosby's acting. Obviously one knows Bing can sing, but his straight acting here is really good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 July 2012
Unlike her usual frothy, charming portrayals of society girls (Rear Window, High Society), here Grace Kelly appears as a somber, plain married woman whose life, and that of her husband (Bing Crosby), has been shattered by a terrible tragedy. Crosby is a song-and-dance man who is trying to resurrect his once-successful acting career, while Kelly tries helplessly to support him and get him off the booze. The tragedy that haunts them both is never mentioned or talked about between them, and we find out what it was only in a brief flashback scene. Yet the shadow of it hovers over the whole film. The love they have for each other is the one sustaining element in ther broken lives. Kelly and Crosby both play against type in this powerful, moving drama and each is a relevation Very much worth watching and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2014
I had seen a film of Grace Kelly played by an actress. I wanted to see what she was really like. The plot of the film was very thin and she was not portrayed in a good light.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2014
She was thrilled with my purchase this was bought to help write an essay. Shereally enjoyed the film fairly priced well worth it. A good buy for anyone who likes these films.
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on 26 March 2013
buy this dvd now,the acting is great,grace Kelly,bing crosbey,and William holden are superb,i give it 5 stars,i would give it 20 stars if I could.great buy.
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on 31 December 2010
Great movie with Bing Crosby in a more serious role. Very well acted and great storyline relevant to today with so many people having addictions.
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