Two for the Seesaw (1962)

Two for the Seesaw (1962), directed by Robert Wise.

A lonely lawyer has moved to New York while waiting for his divorce in Nebraska to become final. Attending a party of intense artistic poseurs, he meets a slightly kooky dancer and calls her later.

They try to make it work but really aren't suited, barely comprehending each other. If made today the plot would go like clockwork: meet and fight, fall in love, fight again and breakup, reconcile for the happy ending. In 1962, after the initial negotiations we have a long middle section exploring the different ways they are not going to make it. And they don't.

This is a filmed stage play and is dialogue-heavy. If you like Robert Mitchum and Shirley MacLaine then this is a good project for them; they are the whole show.

It is also more frank in sexual matters then I would expect from that year:

He hits her hard! Later she hits him, also hard. They both shake it off and continue.

Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor were originally intended for the leads.

Lonely city score by André Previn.

Available on Blu-ray from Kino. Image quality is very good, excellent in spots.