'Cass Timberlane' was Sinclair Lewis' best novel in a decade, after the alcohol haze that produced books like 'Work of Art' and 'The Prodigal Parents.' This novel was a departure for him: about a May-December romance/marriage between a 41-year-old judge and a 26-year-old 'new woman,' it had, dotted in its seemingly stolid tale, outbreaks of three-to-six page descriptions of various marriages, some good, some horrific.
When brought to the screen by MGM, sanded away all the darkness of the original. The cast doesn't work, either. Tracy is too bucolic; Lana Turner is stretched way beyond her meager capabilities; and Zachary Scott is serviceable. But the strength of the novel was its --quite successful-- depiction of a midwest city's community. Still worth watching, but the book is a deeper, and far wittier, read.