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Click on the title to get the juice...
|Never Love A Stranger|
USA (region 1) DVD is the best option. Presented in the Original Aspect Ratio of 1.33:1.|
Note: UK DVD release delayed - still not available at present.
|Steve McQueen's first credited role.
Based on a bestselling novel by Harold Robbins, who also did the screenplay adaption.
the UK DVD:
|A Botticelli angel crossed with a chimp?
||This is a film which seems to get a bit of flack from some viewers, and indeed Steve McQueen's only known comments on the film seem ominous: "That turkey wasn't released for two years, and the only notice I got was from a critic who said my face looked like a Botticelli angel had been crossed with a chimp".|
Is it Any Good?|
In spite of Steve's negative appraisal, I found Never Love A Stranger to be a modestly enjoyable film. Sure it is no cinema blockbuster, but it is the sort of film you enjoy watching on a rainy weekend or late at night when your expectations are not high.
It slowly draws you in with interesting, emotionally vulnerable characters who you care about. It has tender and heartbreaking romance, and unpredictable and dangerous plot developments which keep you wanting to know what will happen next.
|McQueen and Barrymore.|
John Barrymore stars (as Frankie), a troubled orphan whose street bravery and character draws the attention and seeming affection of a violent crime boss, who schools him in criminal behaviour and violence. Frankie finds his misguided but fearless bravery pays off, and eventually rises to the heights of the criminal underworld. John Barrymore's performance was convincing and sometimes captivating.
Steve McQueen (as Martin) plays Frankie's socially privileged and wealthy boyhood friend who also rises to prominence on the
other end of the legal scales (as a district attorney), and eventually becomes Frankie's nemesis, as the law seeks to bring
Frankie down. Steve McQueen's role was the smaller of the two, and his performance was good, but not great.
I think that the relationship between the two friends could have been better developed than it was, and this is one of the films weak points.|
Lita Milan (as Julie) plays Frankie's true love, and I found her performance to be believable and at times quite touching. The relationship between Frankie and Julie is another one of the key emotional elements of the film, as she represents Frankie's only source of real joy and hope. Also riveting is Robert Bray (as Silk), Frankie's crime 'father'.
So once again, I found Never Love a Stranger to be an enjoyable film. Steve didn't light the screen ablaze in this one, but he gave a serviceable performance.
The film is shot in Black and White.
Screencaps provided by Daniel Smague.