From the Terrace (1960)

144 mins | Melodrama | July 1960

Director:

Mark Robson

Writer:

Ernest Lehman

Producer:

Mark Robson

Cinematographers:

Leo Tover, Sam Leavitt

Editor:

Dorothy Spencer

Production Designers:

Lyle Wheeler, Maurice Ransford, Howard Richman

Production Company:

Linebrook Corp.
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HISTORY

The film's title card reads: "John O'Hara's From the Terrace ." According to an Oct 1958 DV news item, Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to O'Hara's novel prior to its publication. According to an undated, but contermporary HR news item in the production file on the film in the AMPAS library, Fox outbid four other studios for the screen rights to the controversial bestseller. Unlike the film, the novel spans "Alfred's" life, beginning with his boyhood, just after World War I and continuing through his marriage to "Natalie," and his re-entry into the Navy, where he rises to the position of Secretary of the Navy.
       A Nov 1959 HR news item noted that Richard Egan was initially signed to co-star in the picture. A Jan 1960 NYT news item stated that interiors were shot at the Fox Movietone Studios in New York City, and that location filming was done in Old Westbury, Jaggers Cove and Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Studio publicity contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library added that the train station at Jersey City stood in for Philadelphia's Reading station, and Phoenixville, PA was used for the small town in which the Eaton family lives. West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles was used as the location for the Eaton house. Other location shooting was done in Central Park and on Wall Street in New York City. From the Terrace marked the feature film debuts of actress Elizabeth Allen (1929--2006) and George Grizzard ... More Less

The film's title card reads: "John O'Hara's From the Terrace ." According to an Oct 1958 DV news item, Twentieth Century-Fox bought the rights to O'Hara's novel prior to its publication. According to an undated, but contermporary HR news item in the production file on the film in the AMPAS library, Fox outbid four other studios for the screen rights to the controversial bestseller. Unlike the film, the novel spans "Alfred's" life, beginning with his boyhood, just after World War I and continuing through his marriage to "Natalie," and his re-entry into the Navy, where he rises to the position of Secretary of the Navy.
       A Nov 1959 HR news item noted that Richard Egan was initially signed to co-star in the picture. A Jan 1960 NYT news item stated that interiors were shot at the Fox Movietone Studios in New York City, and that location filming was done in Old Westbury, Jaggers Cove and Glen Cove, Long Island, New York. Studio publicity contained in the film's production file at the AMPAS Library added that the train station at Jersey City stood in for Philadelphia's Reading station, and Phoenixville, PA was used for the small town in which the Eaton family lives. West Adams Boulevard in Los Angeles was used as the location for the Eaton house. Other location shooting was done in Central Park and on Wall Street in New York City. From the Terrace marked the feature film debuts of actress Elizabeth Allen (1929--2006) and George Grizzard (1928--2007). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
4 Jul 1960.
---
Box Office
18 Jul 1960.
---
Daily Variety
8 Oct 1958.
---
Daily Variety
27 Jun 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
27 Jun 60
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
4 Nov 59
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 59
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
5 Feb 60
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 60
p. 16.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jun 60
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
2 Jul 60
p. 755.
New York Times
3 Jan 1960.
---
New York Times
16 Jul 60
p. 10.
Newsweek
18 Jul 1960.
---
Saturday Review
30 Jul 1960.
---
Time
18 Jul 1960.
---
Variety
28 Jun 60
p. 9.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Blossom Rock
Cecil Elliott
Jimmy Martin
and His Orchestra
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Gowns des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel From the Terrace by John O'Hara (New York, 1958).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
John O'Hara's From the Terrace
Release Date:
July 1960
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 15 July 1960
Production Date:
early December 1959--late February 1960 at the Fox Movietone Studios, New York City
Copyright Claimant:
Linebrook Corp. and Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
15 July 1960
Copyright Number:
LP16790
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Duration(in mins):
144
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Philadelphia in 1946, Alfred Eaton returns home from the war to find his mother Martha a wretched alcoholic, the victim of years of neglect and abuse from her husband Samuel, the owner of a prestigious iron and steel company. Samuel emotionally withdrew from his family thirteen years earlier after the death of his beloved son Billy, and still resents the fact that Billy died while Alfred lives. When Samuel begrudgingly offers Alfred a position in the family business, Alfred states that he is moving to New York to launch an aircraft business with his old friend Lex Porter. While attending a party at the estate of Lex's wealthy uncle, Fritz Thornton, Arthur spots Mary St. John, the stunning daughter of a Main Line family. Mary, who is secretly engaged to Dr. Jim Roper, is sexually drawn to Alfred, and soon the two are embroiled in a tempestuous relationship. When Mary's snobbish parents object that Alfred's father is a nobody and his mother is a drunk, Mary defies them and continues to see Alfred. After Alfred asks his father for a loan to finance his share of the aircraft company, Samuel humiliates Alfred and begins to sob for the lost Billy. Furious, Alfred storms out in disgust, after which Samuel suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized. Believing that Samuel's ill health will place Alfred closer to the helm of the Eaton Steel company, Mr. St. John condones his daughter's engagement to Alfred. On the day of the wedding, Alfred receives word that his father has died. Certain that Samuel has timed his death to spite him, Alfred goes ahead with the ceremony. With ... +


In Philadelphia in 1946, Alfred Eaton returns home from the war to find his mother Martha a wretched alcoholic, the victim of years of neglect and abuse from her husband Samuel, the owner of a prestigious iron and steel company. Samuel emotionally withdrew from his family thirteen years earlier after the death of his beloved son Billy, and still resents the fact that Billy died while Alfred lives. When Samuel begrudgingly offers Alfred a position in the family business, Alfred states that he is moving to New York to launch an aircraft business with his old friend Lex Porter. While attending a party at the estate of Lex's wealthy uncle, Fritz Thornton, Arthur spots Mary St. John, the stunning daughter of a Main Line family. Mary, who is secretly engaged to Dr. Jim Roper, is sexually drawn to Alfred, and soon the two are embroiled in a tempestuous relationship. When Mary's snobbish parents object that Alfred's father is a nobody and his mother is a drunk, Mary defies them and continues to see Alfred. After Alfred asks his father for a loan to finance his share of the aircraft company, Samuel humiliates Alfred and begins to sob for the lost Billy. Furious, Alfred storms out in disgust, after which Samuel suffers a heart attack and is hospitalized. Believing that Samuel's ill health will place Alfred closer to the helm of the Eaton Steel company, Mr. St. John condones his daughter's engagement to Alfred. On the day of the wedding, Alfred receives word that his father has died. Certain that Samuel has timed his death to spite him, Alfred goes ahead with the ceremony. With Thornton money, Lex and Alfred then fund the Nassau Aircraft Corporation, but when Lex shows more interest in perfecting aircraft designs than in selling planes, Alfred, hungry for riches, becomes impatient. One wintry day, Alfred and Mary are driving home from a party at the Thornton estate when they see a little boy fall through the thin ice of a frozen pond. After Alfred plunges into the icy waters to save the boy, the boy's grandfather, James Duncan MacHardie, the most famous financier in America, invites Alfred and Mary to dinner. MacHardie, a shrewd businessman, senses Alfred's drive and ambition, and when Alfred asserts that his goal in life is to earn more money than his father, MacHardie offers him a job in his investment firm. Obsessed by success, Alfred travels the country for MacHardie, leaving Mary alone for months at a time. Mary, lonely and self-pitying, begins to resent Alfred's constant absences. When Creighton Duffy, MacHardie's son-in law, whose position in his father-in-law's business is threatened by Alfred's acumen, suggests that Alfred spend two months in rural Pennsylvania counseling investment to Ralph Benziger, a prosperous coal mine owner, Alfred finds his marriage to Mary irretrievably broken. After an ugly argument with Mary, Alfred goes to Pennsylvania, and one night, is invited to dinner at Benziger's, where he meets Benziger's compassionate, ingenious daughter Natalie. Overwhelmed by Natalie's sensitivity, Alfred impetuously invites her to a movie, but she refuses. Later that night, however, Natalie phones Alfred at his hotel room and arranges to meet him at a drive-in the following evening. After Alfred tells Natalie that her warmth and generosity has made him realize what a sham his marriage is, they kiss. Later, however, Natalie reconsiders and decides that they must end their relationship and they part, still loving each other. Upon returning to New York, Alfred is immediately summoned to MacHardie's office, where MacHardie informs him that Mary is having an affair with Jim. After warning Alfred that he will not tolerate divorce within his firm, MacHardie assigns him to analyze the Nassau Aircraft Corp. as a possible investment. One night while leaving a party with Mary, Alfred unexpectedly encounters Natalie in front of the hotel. Sensing that Alfred and Natalie have been intimate, Mary vindictively calls Jim and makes a date with him. Later, Alfred meets Natalie and tells her that although he is estranged from Mary, his career prevents him from divorcing her. Duffy, who has become unethically involved with Nassau Aircraft and will reap a financial windfall if MacHardie invests in the company, threatens to blackmail Alfred unless he suppresses his report. One night, while Alfred and Natalie share a passionate embrace in her hotel room, photographers hired by Duffy burst in and snap a picture of their indiscretion. After Alfred considers giving into Duffy's blackmail, Natalie, uncertain if he is trying to save her reputation or his career, decides to leave him. When Alfred returns home, Mary suggests that they share an open marriage and proclaims that she will never divorce him. After Mary seductively retires to her bedroom, the scandalous photos are delivered to Alfred. At a business meeting the next day, MacHardie ushers in Mary to celebrate Alfred's surprise promotion to partner. As Duffy smirks, Alfred denounces MacHardie's hypocrisy of placing success and social position above personal responsibility and happiness. Alfred then issues the uncensored report exposing Duffy's duplicity and walks out. When Mary runs after him, he accuses her of trying to revive their marriage solely to savor the prestige of being married to a partner in the MacHardie firm. With Mary screaming at him, Alfred drives off to reconcile with Natalie. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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