East Side, West Side (1949): LeRoy’s Crime Melodrama, Starring Stanwyck, James Mason, Ava Gardner

Mervyn LeRoy directed East Side, West Side a crime melodrama, starring Barbara Stanwyck as a wronged wife and Ava Gardner in one of her early roles, along with James Mason and Van Heflin.

East Side, West Side
East Side, West Side FilmPoster.jpeg

Theatrical Film Poster

Set after World War II, the tale is based on a novel by Marcia Davenport and a screenplay by Isobel Lennart.  It centers on socialite Jessie Bourne (Stanwyck), who home alone one night, in her Gramercy Park apartment on New York’s East Side, she receives a mysterious phone call that hangs up. Her wealthy playboy husband Brandon (Mason) is out, enjoying himself at the Del Rio night club.

At the night club, young model Rosa Senta Charisse) admonishes Brandon for going out alone, as Rosa admires Jessie, a customer at the dress salon where Rosa works. Brandon tries to mollify Rosa, but he is cut short when Brandon’s former mistress, gold-digging Isabel Lorrison, arrives. She has returned from Paris intending to rekindle her romance with Brandon, but he rebuffs her, professing faithfulness to his wife.

An argument ensues in which Isabel’s date, wealthy Alec Dawning, knowing Brandon’s reputation, knocks him unconscious. Brandon is rescued by Rosa, who takes him to her home to recover.


Directed by Mervyn LeRoy
Produced by Voldemar Vetluguin
Written by Marcia Davenport (novel), Isobel Lennart
Music by Miklós Rózsa
Cinematography Charles Rosher
Edited by Harold F. Kress

Production company: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed by Loew’s Inc.

Release date: December 22, 1949

Running time: 108 minutes
Budget $1,754,000
Box office $2,540,000