Streaming Video - 1952
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Based on the Theodore Dreiser novel that publishers deemed "too immoral," William Wyler's Carrie is a power-house of human passions transformed into soul-withering frailties. As Carrie, the smalltown girl come to Chicago, Jennifer Jones "seems to have stepped out of the pages of the book" (Time). And Laurence Olivier gives one of his finest portrayals as love-doomed Hurstwood. "Olivier has always given credit to Wyler for teaching him how to act in the movies when they did Wuthering Heights together, but it's in Carrie that he showed how much he had learned" (Pauline Kael, 5001 Nights at the Movies).
Publisher: [United States] : Paramount : Made available through hoopla, 1952
Branch Call Number: eVideo hoopla
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 121 min.)) : sd., col

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Sep 25, 2018

How has this movie remained so underrated and underseen for the past sixty-six years? I've been a classic film geek for about a decade now and I hadn't heard of it until recently. William Wyler directs Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones in this gritty, tragic drama about doomed love and poverty. And maybe I answered my own question about why no one's seen it: this movie is definitely not a picker-upper, but it pulls no punches and the love story at its heart is touching. Olivier gives what might be his best performance as the gentle, frustrated George Hurstwood, stuck in a sour marriage and willing to give up his comfortable life for the love of disgraced but sweet as pie kept woman Carrie Meeber, played by Jennifer Jones in what might be her best role as well. The two elope, only for their union to provide extremely mixed blessings.

One might assume the Production Code would have scrubbed this story of fallen men and women clean, but the film is shockingly open about what Carrie does to survive. The ending is inevitable, yet the movie does not leave you feeling like life is terrible. This is still, I think, a film for the romantic at heart, showing how even the least little bit of love can be worth it.


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