OxfordComma’s review published on Letterboxd:
This has been on my watchlist for a good long time, mainly because hello? George Stevens, but also because I have seen other filmmakers refer to it quite a lot.
It's based on Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy and tells the tale of George Eastman (Montgomery Clift in his prime), who is the poor relation of a wealthy factory owner. He has left his dead end job and his ultra-religious mother (Anne Revere) for the promise of a job with the rich uncle. He ends up working in a factory where he meets Alice (Shelley Winters). Although he dreams of wealth and the gorgeous and upper class Angela Vickers (Elizabeth Taylor also in her prime), he starts up with Alice. Everything is fine until his dreams start coming true.
Stevens was a very deliberate filmmaker and you can see it in how he composes the shots. Some gorgeous cinematography from William C. Mellor. There are some absolutely gorgeous scenes and his use of light and shadow is masterful. Both Stevens and Mellor won Oscars for their work. You can see why.
Nice performances too, particularly from Shelley Winters, who is positively subtle as Alice.
It's a bit long and the last third of the film drags. I have not read the source material and don't know the fault is in the that or the script or what.
Well worth seeing.