Lovin’ Molly (1974)

Lovin’ Molly (1974)

“Molly always stood where you left her — as long as she could see you.”

Two buddies (Anthony Perkins and Beau Bridges) love the same woman (Blythe Danner) their entire lives, but she refuses to marry either one.

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Anthony Perkins Films
  • Beau Bridges Films
  • Blythe Danner Films
  • Love Triangle
  • Romance
  • Sidney Lumet Films
  • Strong Females
  • Susan Sarandon Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, there are “some fine, touching moments” in this menage-a-trois romance (based on a novel by Larry McMurtry), but it’s difficult to stay invested, given “that so many feelings go unstated”, thus making “it difficult for us to know how we’re supposed to respond to the characters”. While Molly’s refusal to back down from her free-spirited beliefs is admirable, we never learn why she feels so strongly against marrying either Gid or Johnny. Equally distracting is the split narration over several decades between the three characters, which prevents us from fully empathizing with any one of them. Finally, the make-up used for aging the three actors is atrocious. (According to a biography of Anthony Perkins, the make-up artist was a last-minute replacement who nobody was particularly impressed with.) The primary reason to see Lovin’ Molly is the powerful performance by Blythe Danner (who looks distractingly like her daughter, Gwyneth Paltrow). As Peary notes, this is the film “that proves [Danner] had the beauty and talent to have been a star.”

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Blythe Danner’s affecting performance as Molly
  • An unusual portrayal of a female who refuses to settle down with just one man
  • Anthony Perkins and Beau Bridges as Molly’s two lifelong lovers

Must See?
No, unless you’re a Blythe Danner fan.


3 thoughts on “Lovin’ Molly (1974)

  1. “Lovin’ Molly” was released as a DVD in the UK, and can be purchased on the Amazon.com UK site. You’ll need a region-free DVD player to watch it, if you live in the United States.

  2. Rewatch (finally; nowadays it has become something of a forgotten film, so it’s not all that easy to come by). … But skip it. It’s just not that good or interesting, really. The actors seem either miscast or mis-directed or both and it’s a rare case in which Lumet’s work is a disappointment.

    The first time I saw it was many years ago on a VHS ‘movie night’ with my bud Tom. As I recall, we found a good deal of it unintentionally funny. Mainly it doesn’t come off as all that credible (by that I mean mostly in the way it’s performed).

    I rather like McMurtry’s novels (this adaptation is of ‘Leaving Cheyenne’, which I haven’t read) but apparently McMurtry hates this film since he feels it has little to do with his book.

    Viewers would be better advised to watch McMurtry’s Oscar-winning co-adaptation (with Diana Ossana) of ‘Brokeback Mountain’ for a more convincing portrait of cowboys.

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