The marital difficulties of four couples living in a southern California housing development become intertwined. Among the unhappy couples are ne'er-do-well Jerry Flagg and his long-suffering wife Isabelle, flirtatious Leola Boone and her sadistic husband Troy, hard working Herman Kreitzer and his understanding wife Betty, and newlyweds Jean and David Martin.
From the same director
Joanne Woodward (Leola Boone), Sheree North (Isabelle Flagg), Tony Randall (Jerry Flagg), Jeffrey Hunter (David Martin), Cameron Mitchell (Troy Boone), Patricia Owens (Jean Martin), Barbara Rush (Betty Kreitzer), Pat Hingle (Herman Kreitzer), Robert H. Harris (Markham (as Robert Harris)), Aki Aleong (Iko), Jim Hayward (Mr. Burnett), Robert Burton (Mr. Cagle (uncredited)), Mary Carroll (Mrs. Burnett (uncredited)), George Chester (Car Attendant (uncredited)), Frank Gerstle (Verdun (uncredited)), Mimi Gibson (Sandra Kreitzer (uncredited)), Charles Herbert (Michael Flagg (uncredited)), Nolan Leary (Reverend (uncredited)), William Murphy (Ed (uncredited)), Robert St. Angelo (Moving Man (uncredited)), Donald Towers (Harmon Kreitzer (uncredited))
Jerry Wald (producer)
"No Down Payment" is truly one of the great lost Fifties movies. Released in 1957, the year that the forced integration of Little Rock and the Soviet's launching of Sputnik forced America out of it's smug complacency, this movie truly shows us another side of suburban utopia. This flick was filmed when suburban California seemed to be everyone's ideal of the good life which, from the start, this movie portrays quite well. Barbecues with the neighbors, kids playing in the yard, trimmed lawns and freshly painted houses, this neighborhood has it all. What could go wrong?
The fact that Jeffrey Hunter and Patricia Owens were, frankly, not as good in their vocation as their fellow actors, somehow works very well here. They play the new couple in the neighborhood. They're naive, filled with expectations and enthusiastic to make a home in this cozy corner of the suburbs and they manage to give the viewer a similar feeling. We want what they want - the perfect neighbors - supportive friends and caring advisers who still allow us our privacy and our boundaries. That's what this great cast has to offer...they're perfect.
But are they? Skillfully, we begin to catch on to these neighbor's individual character defects. Joanne Woodward, fresh off "Three Faces of Eve", plays her character with her usual complex aplomb. Sheree North and Barbara Rush, two Fifties beauties, are comfortable here with their good looks and their knack for understanding men..or perhaps it's manipulating men? As always, Cameron Mitchell takes his man's man character in an unexpected direction. And Pat Hingle, often the embodiment of stability in his roles, takes it all in stride or does he? Then there's Tony Randall, sidekick of Rock Hudson in all those great light Doris Day comedies. Tony Randall gives us a character we'll never forget...this performance proves Randall was and is a great, great actor.
Four husbands, four wives, eight stunning acting performances. Was the dream offered to us by "Father Knows Best" and Ozzie's family really too good to be true? Maybe not - suburban California is a far cry from the inner city tenements so many of our ancestors dwelt in...Except, this is 1957. The turbulent Sixties are just around the bend. California is about to explode into riots, war protests and hippies searching for the bum trip tent. Besides, you know what they say about something being too good to be true.
De man van den overkant (Belgium (Flemish title)) • L'homme d'en face (Belgium (French title)) • A Mulher do Próximo (Brazil; Portugal) • Más fuerte que la vida (Spain) • Kaiken mitä haluat (Finland) • Les sensuels (France) • O pothos nika tous distagmous (Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)) • Un urlo nella notte (Italy) • Wszystko na kredyt (Poland) • Allt du begär (Sweden)
backyard barbecue, suburbia, american dream, husband wife relationship, dysfunctional marriage, used car salesman, manipulative wife, possessive husband, upward mobility, world war two veterans, alcoholism, gas station, bare chested male, racial prejudice, wage slave
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