Ten North Frederick (film)

Ten North Frederick (film)

Infobox Film
name = Ten North Frederick

image_size =
caption = Gary Cooper and Suzy Parker
director = Philip Dunne
producer = Charles Brackett
writer = Philip Dunne
Based on the novel by John O'Hara
narrator =
starring = Gary Cooper
Geraldine Fitzgerald
Diane Varsi
music = Leigh Harline
cinematography = Joseph MacDonald
editing = David Bretherton
distributor = 20th Century Fox
released = May 22, 1958 (USA)
runtime = 102 minutes
country = United States
language = English
budget =
gross =
preceded_by =
followed_by =
website =
amg_id =
imdb_id = 0052283

"Ten North Frederick" is a 1958 American drama film written and directed by Philip Dunne. The screenplay is based on the 1955 novel of the same name by John O'Hara.

Plot synopsis

The film opens in April 1945. Outside the titular address in the fictional town of Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, a newscaster is reporting the funeral of distinguished attorney Joseph Chapin. While his shrewish wife Edith delivers his eulogy, daughter Ann recalls Joe's fiftieth birthday celebration five years earlier.

Via a flashback, we learn rebellious ne'er-do-well son Joby has been expelled from boarding school and wants to pursue a career as a jazz musician, a decision Edith feels will harm the family's reputation. The ambitious woman is determined to get Joe elected Lieutenant Governor, and she uses her wealth, political connections, and social influence to achieve her goal. Threatening her success is Ann's secret marriage to trumpet player Charley Bongiorno, who seduced and impregnated the naive girl.

Corrupt power broker Mike Slattery and district attorney Lloyd Williams intervene. They threaten to charge Charley with statutory rape if he refuses to accept their bribe and agree to an annulment. Shortly after, Ann suffers a miscarriage, and when she learns her father condoned the deal that drove her husband away, she leaves home and moves to New York City.

Fearing repercussions from Ann's situation, party power brokers refuse to back Joe in the election, and he withdraws from the race, much to Edith's dismay. Angry with her husband, she reveals she once had an an affair with Lloyd and bitterly tells him she wasted her life ministering to a failure. Deeply depressed by the turn of events, Joe begins to drink heavily.

While on a business trip, Joe meets Ann's roommate, model Kate Drummond. The two fall into a relationship, and during a weekend getaway Joe presents her with a ruby, a Chapin family heirloom. When the young woman's friends mistake Joe for her father, he realizes he's unable to handle the huge age difference and ends the affair.

Joe's alcoholism takes its toll on his health but he refuses medical attention. Learning her father is dying, Ann returns home. When Joe asks her about Kate, she tells him her roommate is about to wed, although she suspects she's in love with another man. Joe realizes the man is he just before he dies.

At the funeral, Joby accuses Slattery of betrayal and Edith of being responsible for Joe's decline and death. Later, just prior to Kate's wedding, Ann is helping her friend pack when she finds the ruby. She realizes her father was Kate's true love and he managed to experience a brief period of happiness during his final years.

Principal cast

*Gary Cooper ..... Joseph Chapin
*Geraldine Fitzgerald ..... Edith Chapin
*Diane Varsi ..... Ann Chapin
*Ray Stricklyn ..... Joby Chapin
*Suzy Parker ..... Kate
*Tom Tully ..... Mike Slattery
*Philip Ober ..... Lloyd Williams
*Stuart Whitman ..... Charley Bongiorno

Critical reception

In his review in the "New York Times", Bosley Crowther said the film "has been so sharply reduced in scope from what it was in the novel and the backgrounds of its people have been so pruned that it fails to explain the whys of their troubles, into the middle of which we're suddenly thrown. This appears to be the fault of the writer-director, Philip Dunne. He has tried to do too much with visual shorthand . . . He barely introduces his hero . . . before he is bouncing us through three disappointments in the fellow's fifty-first year and then having him meet a beautiful model for a brief and futile fling at romance . . . The production has class and distinction in black-and-white CinemaScope, but the drama itself lacks those virtues." [ [http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?res=9502E5DD1E3EE63BBC4B51DFB3668383649EDE "New York Times" review] ]

"Variety" said, "The screen telling of the John O'Hara novel sacrifices detail and explanation at some loss to audience satisfaction." [ [http://www.variety.com/review/VE1117795529.html?categoryid=31&cs=1&p=0 "Variety" review] ]

"TV Guide" awards it 2½ out of a possible four stars and calls it "a confusing movie from a complex book with a performance by Cooper that almost manages to save the story." [ [http://www.tvguide.com/movies/north-frederick/review/119949 "TV Guide" review] ]

Awards and nominations

The film was named Best Feature Film at the Locarno International Film Festival.


External link

* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052283/ "Ten North Frederick" at the Internet Movie Database]

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