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A Second Look at 'The Country Girl'

Grace Kelly, George Seaton: 1954
Grace Kelly, George Seaton: 1954

The author has written about 1954's The Country Girl before, but in the wake of Robin Williams' suicide, it deserves a second look.

The film stars William Holden, Grace Kelly, and Bing Crosby. Bernie Dodd (Holden) needs to find a lead for his musical play and he has Frank Elgin (Crosby) audition. His producer, Phillip Cook (Anthony Ross) is hesitant because Frank Elgin is a known alcoholic and doesn't want to bear the burden of dealing with that on top of getting a show ready. Dodd saw Frank Elgin in a show when he was younger, and takes it upon himself to take every responsibility to make sure this comeback works for him, for Elgin, and for Cook. Dodd notices that Elgin is not in the building, and Cook tells him to check the bar. Dodd checks every bar he can find before he goes to Frank's apartment, and meets his wife, Georgie (Kelly). The two do not start friendly, as she learns about him and asks him questions that Bernie thinks she should not be asking. Frank comes in and eventually agrees to be apart of the production. During rehearsals, Bernie gets the impression that Georgie is emasculating Frank and is the real person with the problems, and that Frank is only drinking to cope. This is the mid-1950s, so clearly any psychology can be considered dated. Frank even says that Georgie tried to commit suicide. Bernie, who is divorced, is led to think the worst of Georgie, and when she wants to talk to him, he yells at her and argues. You will have to see the film to see how it develops.

It is an important film that explores the psychology of addiction and depression, what causes it, and what drives a person to ruin because of it. It also explores the fragile, destroying strength of being married to someone who suffers from addiction and depression. It also shows the fortitude of love amid every personal adversity.

So, you can see the film, and you can also help those in need who have self-destructive behaviors. Here is the numbers to the Summit County Suicide Hotline:

Portage Path Community
Mental Health Center
24 hours / 7 days

(330) 434-9144
(330) 762-6110

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