Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

Starring: Geraldine Page, PN, Shirley Knight, Rip Torn, Madeleine Sherwood, Ed Begley Sr., Mildred Dunnock

Directed by: Richard Brooks

Summary: Another Tennessee Williams' play is scrubbed clean for the screen, but still is a fine film. Newman plays the role of Chance Wayne, who returns to his Southern hometown as the kept boy of fading movie starlet Alexandra Del Lago (Page). Problem is, Chance had been run out of town years ago for deflowering the daughter, Heavenly Finley, of the corrupt town boss, and no one is happy to see him return.

Trivia: The original play is written with Chance giving syphillis to the daughter, the film version is altered to an unwanted pregnancy. Also, at the end of the play, Boss Finlay's sons castrate Chance for his callousness, while in the film, it is reduced to a beating. For years, the last scene was referred to as "the cop-out ending to beat all cop-out endings".

The Newman Factor: Paul as a devilish young playboy? Oh yeah, it's that simple - 10.

Rating: Despite the "taming" of the script, the film is still enjoyable, although I would have loved to see how it would have played in it's original form. 8.

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