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Monday, July 2, 2012

The Sea of Grass by Elia Kazan, 1947 (NR)

with Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Walker, Melvyn Douglas, Phyllis Thaxter, Edgar Buchanan, Harry Carey Sr., Ruth Nelson, Robert Armstrong

Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn mark their fourth onscreen pairing as tyrannical New Mexico cattleman Col. James Brewton his reluctant wife, Lutie, in this sweeping Elia Kazan Western based on a novel by Conrad Richter. In a moment of misdirected passion, Lutie conceives a child with her husband's enemy (Melvyn Douglas). But years later, Lutie's grown son (Robert Walker) inadvertently brings the estranged couple back together.

The movie is very very very slow. And the way it is written, it is hard to know what the director means to go towards, what is the main focus. There is no climax, there are no real direction, it is very much like a summary of a book, which it is. The book must be amazing, but its summary takes too much time telling all the stories instead of focusing on developing the characters and their relationship. We get it at the end, subtly, in gets in you, these characters which had to choose a life that they didn't fit in, and live with their choice for a long long time. The movie reminded me because of the theme, of "Rango", yes! The issue told in Rango of Las Vegas is definitely similar what happened in The Sea of Grass, wasting grass land for greed. It also reminded me of "Giant", with the trio of the characters, the identity and misfit of Katharine Hepburn identical to Elizabeth Taylor, which in a way is the other way around, since Giant was shot long after "The Sea of Grass". It definitely affected me, since the story is quite poignant despite the coldness of the tone, with the parallel loss of children and husband for a mother and a wife, and the loss of such an amazing land for this man who had a vision, and nowadays so strikingly relevant for our actual environmental crisis. In a way, this movie reminds me of another movie, about a man who refuse to let the last piece of untouched land of Hawaii in "The Descendants".

Apologies, for this movie, there are no trailer available.


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