At the time of its release, Cinderella Liberty was praised for the presentation of the gritty lives of Baggs and Maggie. This tended to obscure the fact that the story was the overly familiar "boy-loves-hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold" that had been told many times before, and it is the triteness of the basic story that makes Cinderella a good rather than great movie -- especially when the triteness produces situations that strain credulity almost past the breaking point. However, Cinderella does serve as a fine showcase for some first-rate performances. Marsha Mason has rarely been better; the manipulative, studied quality that mars much of her work is largely absent here, and she takes advantage of the range of emotions the character offers to show just what she is capable of. James Caan also gives one of his strongest performances, bringing forth the believable tenderness and touching innocence that lies underneath the surface of his character. And Eli Wallach, in a supporting role, is marvelous, especially in the scene in which he is expelled from the Navy. Mark Rydell's direction is solid, giving the actors plenty of room to work. Paul Williams' songs are poor and obtrusive but don't damage the film too much. Cinderella Liberty is a sweet-natured film, which will affect most viewers, even as they feel annoyed at some of the turns it takes.