Indiscretion of an American Wife (1954): Melodrama Starring Jennifer Jones and Mongomery Clift

In this interesting but ultimately disappointing collaboration between producer David O. Selznick and director Vittorio De Sica, Jennifer Jones (Selznick’s wife) plays an American woman who meets her Italian lover (Monty Clift, miscast) for the final time in Rome’s famous train station.

Grade: C

The original script by Cesare Zavattini and Mario Soldati was touched and retouched by various writers, including Carson McCullers, Paul Gallico, and Truman Capote, which my explain its incongruity.

To magnify her role, most of Jones’ close-ups were reshot by Selznick’s cameraman, Oswald Morris, after they had been unapproved by De Sica and his lenser, G. R. Aldo.

Severly compromised, the theatrical release was extremely short (just over an hour), but fortunately there’s a new, reedited version of 1983, which reflects De Sica’s vision, titled “Terminal Station.”

Neither version is satisfying due to the bland writing, and lack of chemistry between the two stars.  The movie is no more than a footnote in the oterwise rich careers of all concerned.

Terminal Station
Terminal Station poster.jpg
Theatrical Poster

Oscar Nominations: 1

Costume Design (b/w): Christian Dior

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Costume Design was Edith Head for “Sabrina.”

Produced, directed by Vittorio De Sica

Written by Cesare Zavattini (story), Luigi Chiarini, Giorgio Prosperi, Truman Capote (dialogue)

Music by Alessandro Cicognini

Cinematograp hy Aldo Graziati

Edited by Eraldo Da Roma, Jean Barker
Production company: Produzione Film Vittorio De Sica
Selznick Releasing Organization
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date: April 2, 1953 (Italy); May 10, 1954 (US)
Running time: 89 minutes