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Indiscretion of an American Wife

Two strangers in a train station embark upon a doomed love affair in this enthralling romance from director Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief) and producer David O. Selznick (Gone With the Wind).
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 8222D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 3 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: May 21, 2019
  • Originally Released: 1954
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring &
Performer: &
Directed by
Edited by
Screenplay by , &
Composition by
Produced by
Director of Photography:

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 12


User Ratings: 630
Rating: B- -- Most striking is the chemistry between the leading actors Full Review
Old School Reviews
Aug 22, 2003
Rating: 2.5/5 -- I'd be hard-pressed to name two actors with less obvious chemistry together.
Aug 22, 2003
Rating: 2.5/4 -- The film succeeds when focusing on small moments, gestures, etc. But De Sica can't resist loading the film up to make it feel more significant than it really is. Full Review
Combustible Celluloid
May 29, 2007
Bowdlerized or not, the aching pathos of two aging ingénues huddled over a restaurant table and pouring over their mutual fragility remains intact Full Review
Sep 25, 2009
The stars give the drama a real pro try and the professional standards of delivery are high, even though the character interpretations will not be liked by all. Full Review
Mar 26, 2009
Vittorio De Sica's Terminal Station gets a DVD release with it's more widely known cut version, Indiscretion of an American Wife. Full Review
Jan 31, 2005
De Sica's film wants to be Brief Encounter but lacks the necessary emotion, emerging instead as merely a pale imitation. Full Review
May 24, 2003

Description by

Two lovers spend the night in a Rome train station, undecided on whether or not to continue their affair. The woman, formerly a dedicated housewife and mother, cannot imagine life without her family back home in America, while the man cannot imagine a life without her. As the panorama of life in the station unfolds around them, they both realize that saying goodbye will be more painful than either of them could possibly have imagined...

After the relative failures of Duel in the Sun (1946) and The Paradine Case (1947), legendary producer David O. Selznick was seeking a new direction. An avid movie aficionado, he had become interested in the Italian neorealist works of Vittorio De Sica (The Bicycle Thief, Miracle in Milan). A collaboration, however seemingly unlikely, was soon in the works. De Sica conceived of a film set entirely in an Italian train station, with a variety of stories going on at once. The incompatibility between the two cinema legends quickly became apparent when Selznick demanded that his wife, movie star Jennifer Jones, star. De Sica's ideas for side stories faded into the background or were completely jettisoned as the story was reconstructed to focus on a Philadelphia housewife forced to leave her Italian lover behind. Montgomery Clift, hot on the heels of his Academy Award-nominated role in A Place in the Sun (1951) was chosen to co-star. Cast as Jones' adoring nephew was a young Richard Beymer in his first role. He would later play Tony in West Side Story (1961) and Mr. Horne on Twin Peaks (1988-1991). Filming was turbulent as Selznick and De Sica, both used to having final say on their pictures, battled for control. The screenplay by De Sica's usual collaborator Cesare Zavattini was rewritten by both Truman Capote and Carson McCullers at Selznick's request (Capote receives a "Dialogue by" credit, though he later told an interviewer he only worked on two scenes.) De Sica shot in his trademark neorealist style, but Selznick panicked when he realized that there were no closeups of Jones. They compromised by bringing English cinematographer (and frequent John Huston collaborator) Oswald Morris on set to do the requisite Hollywood glamor shots. Ultimately De Sica had a two hour film entitled Terminal Station, which he was allowed to release unadulterated in Italy, while Selznick was free to take the footage back to America to re-edit as he pleased. Removing the last vestiges of De Sica's subplots and adding Morris' lingering closeups of Jones and Clift, the producer emerged with Indiscretion of an American Wife, a picture that more closely resembled a big-budget Hollywood movie. Even then, Selznick ran into trouble with the Production Code Administration, who were concerned with its "improper treatment of adultery." Further edits made it, in Selznick's words, "the most moral picture ever to come out of Europe." The final American version ran only 63 minutes. Indiscretion of an American Wife would receive an Oscar nomination for Christian Dior's costume design at the 27th Annual Academy Awards.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 11,899
  • UPC: 089218822291
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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