This Property is Condemned (1966)

This Property is Condemned (1966)

“And you’ll stay, and you’ll stay — because of all you give me.”

In Depression-era Mississippi, a gangly teen (Mary Badham) relates the story of her older sister (Natalie Wood), who fell tragically in love with a new lodger (Robert Redford) in the boarding house owned by their self-serving mother (Kate Reid).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Charles Bronson Films
  • Deep South
  • Depression Era
  • Flashback Films
  • Natalie Wood Films
  • Robert Redford Films
  • Sydney Pollack Films
  • Tennessee Williams Films

Inspired by a one-act play by Tennessee Williams, this Technicolor soaper — directed by Sydney Pollack, with screenplay input from Francis Ford Coppola — is referred to by several reviewers as a distillation of Williams’ classic themes all rolled into one less-than-satisfying tale. While Wood gives a heartfelt performance:

… and Reid is effectively witchy as her brutally mercenary mother:

… bland Redford and awkward Badham (clearly recreating some version of her most famous role as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird) fare less well, and both Charles Bronson and Robert Blake get short shrift as would-be lovers of Wood.

In its favor, the film is beautifully photographed by James Wong Howe.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Natalie Wood as Alva
  • Kate Reid as Hazel
  • James Wong Howe’s cinematography

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


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