“Back to our respective cages.”
Unmarried schoolteacher Rachel (Joanne Woodward) lives alone with her sickly mother (Kate Harrington). When she finally gets a chance at love with a visiting classmate (James Olson), she tries to break free from her confining existence.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Character Arc
- First Love
- Geraldine Fitzgerald Films
- Joanne Woodward Films
- Paul Newman Films
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, Joanne Woodward — “one of our finest actresses” and “perhaps our most likeable star” — is “brilliant” in her husband Paul Newman’s directorial debut as a spinster schoolteacher who’s “tired of her boring smalltown existence” and longs “to say something I’ve never said before — I’m happy!”
While it’s tragic watching Rachel invest so much in her first affair given her inevitable disappointment, Woodward manages to convince us that Rachel will rally through and make the best of her experiences. This is a woman who is finally finding her personal strength, and a better life is surely ahead for her.
- Yet another excellent, unsung performance by Joanne Woodward
- Estelle Parsons as Rachel’s joyful friend Calla
- Fine cinematography
No, but it’s recommended, especially for fans of Woodward.