Easy Living (1949)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Melodrama, Sports Drama  |   Release Date - Oct 8, 1949 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 77 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Easy Living tries so hard to be a really good little drama that one might be tempted to overlook its flaws -- in the end, however, it gets more points for ambition than for achievement. Vera Caspary and Charles Schnee's screenplay has some good things in it, and its focus on a professional athlete undergoing both a personal and professional crisis is fairly rare, but on the whole, the script flirts with this situation without really unearthing the real drama at its core. Victor Mature turns in a good, strong performance, but he doesn't dig as deeply into the character as is demanded, and he has a hard time holding the screen when Lizabeth Scott -- in a wonderfully icy performance -- is playing opposite him. He has an easier time opposite Lucille Ball, whose understated, delicate performance is especially fine and seems to draw forth a deeper performance from Mature. Jacques Tourneur's direction is subtle and balanced, and he makes some nice observations about life in 1949. One watches Easy Living, enjoying it and expecting it to make the leap from average little melodrama to something just a little bit special -- but the film disappoints by never quite doing so.