Love With The Proper Stranger
Release Date: Dec. 25, 1963

Love With The Proper Stranger

A one-night stand comes back to  haunt  Macy's sales clerk Angie Rossini (Natalie Wood) and musician  Rocky Papasano (Steve McQueen) in this romantic drama.  When Angie reveals her pregnancy to  Rocky,  he  promises to help pay for an illegal abortion.  Rocky's roommate Barbie (Edie Adams) quickly figures out why Rocky has asked her for the name of a doctor, and promptly tosses him out of her apartment. Meanwhile Angie's brothers, not knowing their sister is pregnant, are busy plotting to match her up with Anthony (Tom Bosley), a clumsy cook.  Fed up with her family's interference in her life, Angie packs her bag and leaves, but only for a moment. She has no where else to go. 

Angie and Rocky eventually come up with enough money for the abortion, but before the deed is done, Rocky rushes in and scoops the half undressed Angie into his arms. Left with no alternative, Rocky breaks the news of  Angie's pregnancy to one of her brothers who promptly punches him in the face. Sporting a black eye and under the watchful eye of Angie's brother , Rocky  asks Angie to marry him. But  Angie turns down his offer of marriage because she doesn't think he really loves her. She wants to hear "banjos" playing in lover's heart  before she'll agree to marry anyone.

Director Robert Mulligan successfully captures the stifling world of Angie's  traditional family. Her overemotional  mother refuses to get out of bed after learning that her daughter is pregnant out of wedlock. "Such shame!  Let me die." The tears flow freely.  A priest visits the forlorn mother, and  is bewildered to discover that it is Angie--not Rocky-- who is refusing  to get married. Eventually, love prevails and  Rocky woos Angie into his arms  by playing a banjo and carrying a banner: "Wed or Dead". In the final scene, Angie and Rocky embrace in the center of a busy New York intersection.

This 102-minute, black and white movie received five Oscar nominations  including Natalie Wood for  Best Actress in a Leading Role, and Art Schulman  for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay written directly for the screen.  Surprisingly, this well acted and entertaining  movie is not yet available on DVD.

Copyright: Peter Fokes (2003)
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