All Fall Down (film)

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All Fall Down
All Fall Down poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Produced by John Houseman
Screenplay by William Inge
Based on All Fall Down 
by James Leo Herlihy
Starring Eva Marie Saint
Warren Beatty
Karl Malden
Angela Lansbury
Brandon deWilde
Constance Ford
Barbara Baxley
Evans Evans
Madame Spivy
Albert Paulsen
Music by Alex North
Cinematography Lionel Lindon
Edited by Fredric Steinkamp
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release dates
  • April 11, 1962 (1962-04-11)
Running time
110 minutes
Country United States
Language English

All Fall Down is a 1962 American drama film, adapted from the novel All Fall Down (1960) by James Leo Herlihy, the author of Midnight Cowboy (1965). It was directed by John Frankenheimer and produced by John Houseman. The screenplay was adapted from the novel by playwright William Inge and the film starred Eva Marie Saint and Warren Beatty. Upon its release, the film was a minor box-office hit. Together with her performance in Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Angela Lansbury (who played a destructively manipulative mother in both films) won the year's National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film was entered in the 1962 Cannes Film Festival.[1]

Plot[edit]

Berry-Berry Willart (Beatty) is a young, handsome hedonistic drifter who hates life and who has no trouble living off the women of all ages he seduces. When the women become too attached to him, his charm turns sadistic and frequently lands him in jail for battery. Berry-Berry is always on the road far from home, is rarely seen by his drunken father Ralph (Karl Malden), his controlling, manipulative mother, Annabel (Angela Lansbury), and his sixteen-year-old brother Clinton (Brandon deWilde). The story follows Clinton, who idolizes Berry-Berry but soon finds out his brother's darker side during the many times he has to bail Berry-Berry out of jail. Clinton is in love with a family friend, Echo O'Brien (Saint), and is forced to realize the type of person his brother is when Berry-Berry tragically sets his sights on Echo.

Cast[edit]

Actor Role
Eva Marie Saint Echo O'Brien
Warren Beatty Berry-Berry Willart
Karl Malden Ralph Willart
Angela Lansbury Annabel Willart
Brandon deWilde Clinton Willart
Constance Ford Mrs. Mandel
Barbara Baxley School Teacher
Evans Evans Hedy
Madame Spivy Bouncer
Albert Paulsen Capt. Ramirez
Robert Sorrells Waiter at Sweet Shop

Reception[edit]

Critical[edit]

Bosley Crowther of The New York Times panned the film, describing it as "distasteful and full of cheap situations and dialogue". He found the premise of the movie—that "everyone in the story is madly in love with a disgusting young man who is virtually a cretin"—fatally flawed.[2]

Pauline Kael gave the film faint praise for being "ambitious" and "elaborately staged",[3] but contrary to reviews of the original novel – which had been met upon its release by "widespread critical acclaim"[4] – Kael heaped scorn on the story itself. Referring to Clinton, she asked rhetorically: "Does anybody really grow up the way this boy grows up? He learns the truth, squares his shoulders, and walks out into the bright sunlight, as Alex North's music rises and swells in victory. How many movies have pulled this damned visual homily on us, this synthetic growing-into-a-man, as if it happened all at once and forever?"[3]

Box office[edit]

According to MGM records, the movie recorded a loss of $1,048,000[5]

Home media[edit]

CD soundtrack cover for All Fall Down.

Video[edit]

Warner Home Video released the film on Region 1 DVD as part of its "Archive Collection" on June 22, 2009.

Soundtrack[edit]

Its score had music composed and conducted by Alex North, whose other scores include Spartacus (1960) and Cleopatra (1963).

North's score was released for the first time on CD in April 2003, on the Film Score Monthly (FSM) label in association with Turner Classic Movies Music, as FSM0606, a limited-release of 3,000, along with North's suite for the film The Outrage (1964), directed by Martin Ritt. FSM described North's soundtrack as a "poignant, sweetly jazzy score...full of hushed, haunting textures, with lovely themes drawing the pained connections between the characters, delicately balanced between love and pain".[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Database. "All Fall Down". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  2. ^ Crowther, Bosley (12 April 1962). "The Screen: 'All Fall Down,' Inge's Version of Herlihy Novel". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Kael, Pauline (2011) [1991]. 5001 Nights at the Movies. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-250-03357-4. 
  4. ^ Folkart, Burt A. (October 23, 1993). "J.L. Herlihy; 'Midnight Cowboy' Author". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 23, 2016. 
  5. ^ The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study .
  6. ^ Database (undated). "All Fall Down/The Outrage (1962/1964)". Film Score Monthly. Retrieved January 19, 2012.

External links[edit]