Carrie (1952 film)

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Carrie
Carrie-1952.jpg
DVD release cover
Directed by William Wyler
Produced by Lester Koenig
William Wyler
Written by Theodore Dreiser
Ruth Goetz
Augustus Goetz
Starring Laurence Olivier
Jennifer Jones
Music by David Raksin
Cinematography Victor Milner
Edited by Robert Swink
Distributed by Paramount
Release date(s)
  • July 17, 1952 (1952-07-17)
Running time 118 minutes
Language English
Box office $1.8 million (US rentals)[1]

Carrie is a 1952 feature film based on the novel Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser.

Directed by William Wyler, the film stars Jennifer Jones in the title role and Laurence Olivier as Hurstwood. Carrie received two Academy Award nominations: Costume Design (Edith Head), and Best Art Direction (Hal Pereira, Roland Anderson, Emile Kuri). Additionally, Laurence Olivier received a BAFTA nomination for his performance. It was screened as part of the 13th Venice Film Festival official program.

Plot[edit]

Carrie Meeber (Jennifer Jones) leaves her family in a small rural town and heads to Chicago. On the train to Chicago, Charles Drouet (Eddie Albert) approaches her. Although Carrie is reluctant to speak to him, the salesman persists and the two chat until they reach Chicago. Carrie gets off in South Chicago, the slums as Charles Drouet points out, after taking Drouet's business card.

In South Chicago, Carrie stays with her sister, who is married and has one child. After an exhausting and fruitless day of job hunting, Carrie looks up Charles Drouet. He not only talks her into having dinner with him at Fitzgerald's, an upscale restaurant, but also gives her $10.

Carrie heads to Fitzgerald's to return the money to Drouet. While there she meets George Hurstwood (Laurence Olivier), the manager of the restaurant, who is immediately smitten with her.

Carrie ends up moving in with Drouet. He is a big talker but basically harmless. She pressures Drouet to marry her because the neighbors are talking about them. He tries to distract her and invites Hurstwood, whom he had run into by sheer coincidence, into their home. With Drouet's permission, Hurstwood takes Carrie to the theater while Drouet is on one of his many business trips. Hurstwood and Carrie end up spending every free minute together, and the two fall in love. Just before she is about to run off with Hurstwood, she finds out that he is married. She is distraught and confronts Hurstwood, who admits that he is married although terribly unhappy.

At the restaurant, Hurstwood cashes up for the night and, by accidentally locking a timed safe, finds himself stuck with $10,000 of his boss's money. He goes home with the money and is initially pleased to find his boss there. He tries to give the money to his boss, but when he learns that his boss intends to give his salary directly to Hurstwood's wife because of his relationship with Carrie, he decides to take the money to run away with Carrie. He leaves an I-O-U intent on paying his boss back as soon as he made it on his own feet.

The cameras filming one of the many scenes.

He coaxes Carrie, who initially refuses to see him, out of the house by telling her that Drouet had injured himself and that he would take her to see him. On the train to Drouet, Hurstwood tells her that he loves her and that the wants to be with her, asking her to leave Drouet. Carrie is torn, but does love Hurstwood, so she decides to stay with him.

The first few days are blissful, but then reality catches up with them. Hurstwood's boss sends an officer from the bond company after Hurstwood to collect the money Hurstwood took. Hurstwood, who has already been looking for work, finds out quickly that word of him stealing the money has gotten around. Unable to find a job, Hurstwood and Carrie soon find themselves living in poverty.

When Carrie finds out that she is pregnant, the two think that things might take a turn for the better. But Hurstwood's wife shows up, wanting his signature and allowing her to sell the house they own jointly. Hurstwood wants his share of the proceeds but she says she will press charges against him for bigamy if he insists. Carrie is devastated. Hurstwood's wife refused to get a divorce and Hurstwood didn't know how to tell Carrie.

Hurstwood tells his wife he will sign and will not ask for money if she'll grant him a divorce. She does, but it is too late. Carrie loses the baby and decides to try her luck at acting. Hurstwood reads in the newspaper that his son is due in New York after his honeymoon and decides to see him at the docks. While he is there, Carrie leaves him (even though she still loves him) because she thinks he will use this opportunity to re-enter his family's life.

While Hurstwood drifts further and further into poverty and ends up living on the streets, Carrie's star in the theatre rises until she is a well-regarded actress on the cusp of fame.

Hurstwood, entirely starved, visits her at the theatre stage door, and she wants to take him back. She had found out from Drouet that Hurstwood had taken the money to start a life with her and blames herself for his predicament. She wants to make it up to Hurstwood but he won't take more than a quarter and disappears after toying with the gas burner in her dressing room.

Principal cast[edit]

Unrelated film of the same name[edit]

The movie should not be confused with Stephen King's novel of the same name, nor with Brian De Palma's 1976 film version Carrie, which is not a remake of Wyler's movie.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953

External links[edit]