The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Where the Boys Are #2


Montgomery Clift (1953)

5 comments :

Vanwall said...

Been there, done that. I think I had the same look on my face as Monty - he sold me on this scene.

Jeremy Richey said...

Still one of my favorite roles of all time..."a man don't go his own way, he's nothing" Great rare shot...thanks to Kimberly for posting it and the others

Testify said...

I love Clift but it has to be said that both in From Here To Eternity and Red River his insbility to punch convincingly is inescapable. What interests me about "...Eternity" is how Clift's charisma derail the film's ideal message. Burt Lancaster's character is the last man standing able to, kind of, respect Prewitt and DiMaggio (so not a bully) but still military (meaning proper American) through and through so therefore should be the hero yet somehow he proves less memorable and seductive than Clift/Prewitt's doomed,handsome, nihilism.

Vanwall said...

Lancaster was stuck with being the eternal sarge - the real glue in any army being the the noncoms - he was the stand-up guy who ends up as the the only one who knew what the hell was going on, a typical SNAFU result. Clift's part was too overpowering for any hanky-panky Kerr and Lancaster might care to generate for most folks today; however, this was not the case when it was first released - the beach scene was the ne-plus-ultra of forbidden romance back then.

Tommy O'C said...

Vanwall, that scene with Lancaster and Kerr on the beach is still considered to be a classic movie moment. Clift was never an "overpowering" actor, which is one of the main reasons that today's audiences don't even know who he is, as compared with Brando and Dean. Critics called him "the blank-stare-perplexed" actor, as he tended to underplay.

As for Clift's inability to punch, it was worked into the script of "Eternity" as his reluctance to fight. And he was doubled effectively as the soldiers crowded during his fistfight with the sergeant. Many felt that this made the scene more powerful. It dovetailed with Prewitt's reluctane to fight, not just because he was "a guy who went his own way" but because he blinded a man in the ring and was still stricken with remorse.