An exceptionally well-performed essay on an alcoholic song man, with Bing Crosby carrying on a bottle romance, Country Girl is a show business story that has depth and movement.
Adapted from the 1950 Clifford Odets play of the same title, its key player, a quondam star induced into trying a painful comeback, is a weak, lying, excessive drinker. Grace Kelly is resolute to the hilt, conveying a certain feminine strength and courage that en- able her to endure the hardships of being the boozer’s wife. William Holden registers in sock style as the legit director determined that Crosby can stand up to the demands of the starring role in a new play.
Crosby pulls a masterly switch, immersing himself into the part with full effect. The film has four songs by Ira Gershwin and Harold Arlen. The bare NY theatre where the show within the show is rehearsed, the Boston house which is the scene of the play’s break-in, the squalid tenement apartment where Kelly and Crosby are first found – these are realistically staged. Robert Alton’s staging of the musical numbers is adequate.
1954: Best Actress (Grace Kelly), Screenplay.
Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Bing Crosby), B&W Cinematography, B&W Art Direction