Something to Live For (1952)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Addiction Drama, Melodrama  |   Run Time - 89 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Review by Craig Butler

Because of the presence of Ray Milland as a reformed alcoholic, Something for Live For seems to come across as something of a sequel to The Lost Weekend. But whereas Lost Weekend is a brilliant classic drama, Something is merely a good but far from brilliant melodrama. The blame lies with the screenplay, which is more than serviceable but far less than inspired and which relies far too often on coincidence and easy outs. The convoluted emotional intertwinings of the two leading characters are not given the depth that they deserve but are treated in a rather conventional fashion by scenarist Dwight Taylor, and that damages the film somewhat. Fortunately, director George Stevens is on hand to take the skimpy screenplay and by judicious emphasis and a careful attention to nuance, shape it into a convincing and fairly gripping little flick. He's aided enormously by Milland and Joan Fontaine as the would-be lovers brought together by their tangles with alcohol, as well as by the always lovely Teresa Wright, who does very well with the wife who stands in their way. This trio of actors keeps the viewer much more engaged than he has a real right to be -- and the viewer is quite thankful for their efforts.