In CINDERELLA LIBERTY, John (James Caan), a good-natured sailor on shore leave, begins a bittersweet romance with a hard-bitten prostitute, Maggie (Marsha Mason), who has an illegitimate black son in need of a father. When Maggie runs away, the sentimental John goes AWOL to find her, in an effort to make a family out of their unlikely coupling. Especially strong performances by Caan and Mason highlight this touching drama of subtle social commentary. Director Mark Rydell's film effectively combines the gritty realism of the character's surroundings--in particular, the life of a single mother and prostitute--and the classic elements of star-crossed romantic melodramas of the 1940s.
In director Mark Rydell's CINDERELLA LIBERTY, a kindhearted sailor begins a bittersweet romance with a prostitute who has an illegitimate black son in need of a father. When she runs away, the sailor goes AWOL to find her.
Theatrical release: December 1973.
The film is based on a chapter in the novel CINDERELLA LIBERTY by Darryl Ponicsan.
James Caan starred in CINDERELLA LIBERTY in between THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER: PART II.
Director Mark Rydell cast the then-unknown Marsha Mason after seeing her in a San Francisco production of A DOLL'S HOUSE. She was later nominated for an Academy Award for her role in CINDERELLA LIBERTY.
Rydell hired three pregnant women who were due to deliver during shooting, so he could match footage of an actual delivery with the delivery in the film. Both the actors and members of the crew were present for the birth of the anonymous woman's child.