This Property Is Condemned Movie Review

Let's get beyond the awful title. (It's based on an obscure Tennessee Williams play... but why didn't they change the name!?)

Let's look at the crew -- a script co-written by Francis Ford Coppola and John Houseman as producer!

John Houseman. Yes, that John Houseman. This was the very last of about 20 movies he produced -- before relaunching his career as an actor in The Paper Chase in 1973. Who knew? (He is also listed as an "uncredited" writer on Citizen Kane, but that's another story.)

Too bad then that despite a rich backstory and star turns by Natalie Wood and Robert Redford, This Property Is Condemned deserves its obscurity. Made years after Wood's heyday in West Side Story, it's a melodrama of enormous self-importance and incredible irrelevance. The plot involves Redford as a railroad executive who comes to a small town to tell them, well, the railroad ain't gonna be workin' here no more. Which is a problem, because there's no other work to be had in town. Naturally there's a kink in the plan -- he falls for local gal (Wood), and her erstwhile beau (Charles Bronson) takes it out on Bob's face. Wood's mother (Kate Reid) won't have anything to do with her daughter's affair with the city slicker, rousing the whole town against the new duo.

What sounds like interesting small-town politics is actually a pretty tame and cliched story of star-crossed lovers... including, well, West Side Story. But the cityfolk-countryfolk story has never been done terribly well, and This Property Is Condemned (ugh, again with that title) ranks somewhere below Doc Hollywood.

For megafans of its lead actors only. (After all, they do a capable job, though the material is way subpar.)

Cast & Crew

Director :


georgejmyersjr's picture


"Tennessee" Williams was from Columbus, Mississippi, where I lived for awhile in 1979, then wettest year on record, and a hurricane fizzled out in New Orleans, in early August. They built the Tombigbee Barge Canal (now Waterway) connecting the waters of the Tennessee River with the Gulf of Mexico, in Mobile, Alabama using that Tombigbee River, chosen over an "Energy Island" for New York City by the U.S. Congress. Sometimes I wonder, having finally seen this film, how much it may have been about an old sow of a proposal for the canal and how much of it was just a story. Republicans manned the phones then and registered as many as they could (and maybe jammed the Democrats on election day, after all it's where the Choctaw Reservation is, and the money to do so for New Hampshire came from in 2002, defeating the incumbent woman governor) to vote, making them the new Big House. I might've given it three stars, because of the direction and story erudition, they earned it.

8 years 4 months ago
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rcjoker's picture


this movie was anything but subpar. natalie wood was perfect. charles bronson and mary badham and robert blake were all wonderful. very well acted and tastefully done. anyone who rates this movie subpar is utter nonsense. see this movie, it's a breath of fresh air compared to some of the junk that actually wins an oscar (no country for old men)....please.

6 years 2 months ago
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This Property Is Condemned Rating

" Grim "

Rating: NR, 1966


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This Property Is Condemned Movie Review

Let's get beyond the awful title. (It's based on an obscure Tennessee Williams play... but why didn't they change the name!?)Let's look at the crew...