This adaptation of Nathanael West's novel Miss Lonelyhearts proves an ideal vehicle for a vintage Clift display of raw-nerved sensitivity. Scarred by the childhood catastrophe of his mother's murder and his father's imprisonment, his job as a newspaper agony aunt piles on a daily dose of human misery; and he has also to endure the goadings of Ryan, his Sun-hearted editor, 'Slop for the slobs!' The confrontations between compassionate Clift and embittered Ryan are the heart of the film, leavened by a little drama when Clift gets too close to one of his correspondents. It's gripping if a little repetitive; Clift is fascinating to watch as usual, though physically he would have suited the part better ten years earlier. Donehue was a TV director, and the production has the cramped look (that newsroom set!) of a live episode of Playhouse 90.
Cast and crew
Vincent J Donehue
Montgomery Clift Robert Ryan Myrna Loy Maureen Stapleton Dolores Hart Jackie Coogan