Not as a Stranger
|Not as a Stranger|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Stanley Kramer|
|Produced by||Stanley Kramer|
|Screenplay by||Edna Anhalt
|Based on||novel by
|Starring||Olivia de Havilland
|Music by||George Antheil|
|Edited by||Frederic Knudtson|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Box office||$7.1 million (North America)|
Not as a Stranger is a 1955 drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer based on the 1954 novel of the same name by Morton Thompson. The romantic melodrama novel was widely popular, topping that year's list of bestselling novels in the United States.
The film was Kramer's directorial debut and featured Olivia de Havilland and Robert Mitchum in the lead roles, backed by a stellar supporting cast including Frank Sinatra, Gloria Grahame, Broderick Crawford, Charles Bickford, Lon Chaney, Jr., Harry Morgan, and Lee Marvin. The film was released by United Artists.
Sinatra had catapulted back into the limelight as the result of a supporting role for a film from a similarly popular novel, From Here to Eternity, two years earlier. Initially a box office success, Not as a Stranger is obscure today, never receiving widespread distribution in VHS markets, and was released on DVD in 1992.
Plot for the film
The movie follows a group of medical students through school, hospital internships, and eventually their careers as doctors. Dr. Lucas Marsh (Robert Mitchum) was blinded by ambition, losing his idealism after marrying older woman Kristina Hedvigson (Olivia de Havilland) in order to make it through medical school. He is indifferent toward his wife, dedicated only to his work. As he climbs his way to the top of the medical profession by using others, he is forced to face his morality after his misjudgment leads to the death of a friend.
- Olivia de Havilland as Kristina Hedvigson
- Robert Mitchum as Dr. Lucas Marsh
- Frank Sinatra as Alfred Boone
- Gloria Grahame as Harriet Lang
- Broderick Crawford as Dr. Aarons
- Charles Bickford as Dr. Dave W. Runkleman
- Myron McCormick as Dr. Clem Snider
- Lon Chaney, Jr. as Job Marsh
- Jesse White as Ben Cosgrove
- Harry Morgan as Oley
- Lee Marvin as Brundage
- Eve McVeagh as Mrs Ferris
The film earned a world wide distribution gross of over $8 million, and a profit of $1.8 million.
The motion picture was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Sound Recording (Watson Jones). Frank Sinatra was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor, and Charles Bickford won that year's National Board of Review award for Best Supporting Actor.
In Popular Culture
Thompson's novel is mentioned rather ironically in Marilynne Robinson's 1980 novel Housekeeping, where it is read by the young heroine (and narrator) Ruth. "That isn't the sort of thing you should be reading," her guardian, Sylvie, says. "I don't know how it got in the house!" The novel is eventually burned by Sylvie along with lots of other reading material before Sylvie and Ruth run away (chapter 10). "I did not tell her it was a library book," Ruth comments wryly.
- Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company The Changed the Film Industry, Uni of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p 101
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1955', Variety Weekly, January 25, 1956
- Variety film review; June 15, 1955, page 6.
- Harrison's Reports film review; June 18, 1955, page 100.
- Not as a Stranger - Rotten Tomatoes
- "The 28th Academy Awards (1956) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-08-21.