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The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

  • Drama
  • 1960
  • Delbert Mann
  • 123 mins
  • PG

Summary

Drama of family strife, starring Robert Preston and Dorothy McGuire. 1920s Oklahoma. Is robust Rubin Flood suffering from a 17-year itch? His unhappy wife Cora fears so in this adaptation of William Inge's Pulitzer Prize-winning play.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

The William Inge play on which this memoir of life in 1920s Oklahoma is based won the Pulitzer Prize. Unfortunately, whatever merit the original might have had as a theatrical experience has been dissipated here by Delbert Mann's reverential approach to its themes of sexual awakening, family discord, class snobbery and antisemitism. The main problem the picture poses for modern audiences is the fact that many of its attitudes have become so outdated that they are likely to breach even the most flexible code of political correctness. The notable cast struggles with such a mannered drama.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Rubin FloodRobert Preston
Cora FloodDorothy McGuire
LottieEve Arden
Mavis PruittAngela Lansbury
Reenie FloodShirley Knight
Sammy GoldenLee Kinsolving
MorrisFrank Overton
Sonny FloodRobert Eyer
FlirtPenney Parker
Harry RalstonKen Lynch

Crew

rolename
DirectorDelbert Mann

Details

Theatrical distributor
Warner Pathe Ltd
Languages
English
Formats
Colour
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