Thursday, April 12, 2012

East Side, West Side (1949).

East Side, West Side(1949). Melodramatic/crime film. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Ava Gardner in one of her earliest roles, James Mason and Van Heflin. Based on a novel by Marcia Davenport and a screenplay by Isobel Lennart, the film was directed by Mervyn Leroy.

Late one night, Jessie Bourne, is home alone  while, her philandering husband Brandon, is out drinking at the Del Rio night club, with model Rosa Senta.


Rosa, later asks Brandon, why he cheats on his wife. Brandon says, "just because a man has one perfect rose at home, doesn't mean he can't enjoy the flowers of the field."

It is not long before Brandon's, former mistress Isabel Lorrison, just back from Paris, shows up forcing Rosa to leave. Isabel, is hoping to pick up where they left off, but Brandon, is ready to move on, telling her that.. "he is now faithful to his wife".

Later, as Brandon is leaving the club, Alec Dawning, who knows Brandon's reputation, knocks him unconscious. Rosa, takes Brandon to her home, where he spends the night.

When Brandon, arrives home he tells Jessie that he was attacked by a bum, which she does not believe.

Soon after, Helen Lee reminds Jessie about her party for ex-police officer Mark Dwyer, whose book Helen's husband Owen is trying to get syndicated in his newspaper. Jessie, then confides to Helen, that she is afraid of what will happen to her marriage now that Isabel is back in town.

After, seeing a picture newspaper picture of Rosa and her husband, Jessie finds Rosa and speaks with her about the picture. Rosa, explains what really happened and the two become fast friends. Jessie, offers to take Rosa to the airport to pick up her boyfriend.

By coincidence, Rosa's sweetheart is th ex-police officer Mark Dwyer, who seems more interested in Jessie.

On the day of Helen's party, Isabel, manages to keep Brandon, from attending the party. Jessie goes to the party alone and is taken home by Mark, who stays with her until Brandon returns home.

The next day, Isabel tells Jessie that she is going to steal husband from her.

Later, Mark while giving Jessie, a tour of his West Side neighborhood, he confesses his love for her. When Jessie returns home, she finds out that Isabel has been murdered.

She and Mark, rush over to Isabel's apartment, where police Lt. Jacobi is interrogating Brandon. Mark, finds a clue that leads him to the Del Rio club, where he finds Isabel's killer, who turns out to be..

Both Stanwyck and Gardner are well matched in this film. Mason, is such a creep that you, hope that everyone, will kick him to the curb by the end of the movie. Loved, the New York scenes and Costumes, were beautiful. I would watch this film again..

Gale Sondergaard (February 15, 1899 – August 14, 1985), studied acting at the Minneapolis School of Dramatic Arts before joining the John Keller Shakespeare Company.

She later toured North America in productions of Hamlet, Julius Caesar, The Merchant of Venice, and Macbeth.

Her younger sister Hester Sondergaard was also an actress.

Sondergaard made her first film appearance in, Anthony Adverse (1936) as "Faith Paleologue" and became the first recipient of the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance.

Her career as an actress flourished during the 1930's, and included a role opposite Paul Muni in The Life of Emile Zola (1937).

During pre-production of MGM's classic The Wizard of Oz (1939), an early idea was to have the Wicked Witch of the West portrayed as a glamorous villainess in a black sequined costume, inspired by the Wicked Queen in, Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Sondergaard was originally cast as the witch in "Oz" and was photographed for two wardrobe test. One was as a glamorous wicked witch, and another as a conventionally ugly wicked witch. After the decision was made to have an ugly wicked witch, Sondergaard, believed  it could damage her career, withdrew from the role, and it went to character actress, Margaret Hamilton. Sondergaard was, later cast as the sultry Tylette (a magically humanized, but devious, cat) in 1940's The Blue Bird.

In 1940, she played the role of the exotic and sinister wife in, The Letter, with Bette Davis.

She received a second Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her role as the King's principal wife in, Anna and the King of Siam(1946).

Sondergaard was first married in 1922 to actor Neill O'Malley; they divorced in 1930.

On 15 May 1930, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she married her second husband, Herbert Biberman, a theater director then associated with the Theatre Guild Acting Company; he became a film director and died in 1971. They had two children, Daniel Hans Biberman and Mrs. Joan Campos.

Sondergaard's career was damaged during the Red Scare of the early 1950's, when her husband was accused of being a communist and named as one of the Hollywood Ten.

(In the 2000 movie One of the Hollywood Ten, Sondergaard was portrayed by actress Greta Scacchi while Jeff Goldblum was cast as Biberman.) She supported her husband during the production of Salt of the Earth (1954).

One of the Hollywood Ten (2000) chronicled Sondergaard's relationship with Biberman and her role in the making of, Salt of the Earth.

The Bibermans sold their home in Hollywood shortly after they completed Salt of the Earth and moved to New York, where Sondergaard was able to work in theatre.


  1. James Mason's character was so gratingly unpleasant. I was glad Van Heflin was around for Babs!

  2. A tidy mystery. A wonderful setting. Interesting characters. "East Side, West Side" is a dandy!

  3. Kim, I'm not really a James Mason fan. So, I really did not get into his character..

    Caftan Woman, I just saw this film for the first time. I hope that TCM plays it again soon..

  4. This on my list of films I need to see. I keep missing it! Thanks for the article!

  5. "East Side, West Side" sounds like a very interesting movie with the perfect elements for a mystery. I agree, and hope TCM shows it soon. It's on my list!


  6. It's one of those movies that I ALWAYS watch when it's on TCM. Love it.

  7. It is a great movie ladies :)


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