Cass Timberlane (1947)
“”In Love With Her Was Like Being in an Earthquake!””
Director: George Sidney
Cast: Spencer Tracy, Lana Turner, Zachary Scott
Synopsis: Judge Cass Timberlane marries a girl from the wrong side of the tracks…
Cass Timberlane is an overlong account of a May-December romance that also suffers from the fact that the young wife is from the wrong side of the tracks. Naturally, the wife (Lana Turner) suffers the snobbish cattiness of nearly all the wives of her new husband’s (spencer Tracy) friends. This may have been an intriguing premise for a movie had that side of it been developed further. Unfortunately, we never really see much of Turner’s treatment at the wives’ hands as the story concentrates more on her friendship with a young lawyer (a nicely smarmy Zachary Scott), her husband’s best friend, who is in love with her. This is a shame, because the will she/won’t she element of that sub-plot is never anything more than routine, lacking any kind of suspense or emotional involvement on the part of the viewer. The outcome is also contrived and rushed, as if director George Sidney was worried about increasing an already bloated running time.
Lana Turner is quite good in her role as the poor girl – even though she never really looks the part – and portrays well a character that evolves from baseball-playing tomboy to fashionable socialite during the course of the picture. Spencer Tracy wears his role like a comfortable old cardigan, rarely stretching himself, and looks suitably dignified as the small-time judge.
(Reviewed 23rd February 2002)