Sunday, March 24, 2013

1936 - WINTERSET a high class version of Death Wish

Supposedly a famous tragic play in free form verse by Maxwell Anderson.  By the time Winterset was turned into a film with the original Broadway cast RKO had dumped most of his dialog and rewrote the tragic ending to turn into a happy ending.  Really no surprise there.

Burgess Meredith looking pretty sharp in a fedora is Mio, the son of a 1930's radical unjustly convicted and executed for a crime he did not commit.  On a rainy film noirish kind of night, Mio will meet up with the judge who sentenced his father to die and the gang leader who actually committed the crime.   No outrageous plot coincidences in this film.

Winterset is incredibly stagy with it's rainy studio sets and pseudo high toned dialog mixing very  uncomfortably with the more "normal" dialog that people actually speak in real life.  Burgess Meredith is is very good as Mio straddling the line between spewing pseudo Shakespearean blather and playing an early version of Charles Bronson in Death Wish.  However the rest of the cast could have used a little more underplaying particularly those "colorful" ethnic characters.

Winterset is a somewhat dated film.

77 minutes.

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