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'A Place In The Sun' As The Sun Sets On Summer

This week's dinner and a movie in marks the unofficial end of summer.

Considering that this is the unofficial last weekend of summer, we wanted to do something special. And what can be more special than inviting friends over for a barbecue? Perhaps treating them to a little Liz Taylor?

Not just any Liz Taylor, but 1951 Liz Taylor when she was at the height of her sizzling hotness in A Place In The Sun. Originally a novel An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, A Place In The Sun also stars Montgomery Clift, Liz's big time Hollywood man-crush. (Unfortunately for Liz, Monty had his own share of big time Hollywood man-crushes.) 

If Liz and Monty are coming to your barbecue, the food has to lean toward high end. No hot dogs here. Head over to see Kevin at and pick up some marinated flank steaks and sausages. Throw them onto the grill and let them sizzle while you pour your guests martinis or whiskey sours. It's that kind of barbecue.

Since the meat is heavy, keep the rest of the food light. A mixed greens salad with cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a light balsamic dressing is really all you need. But most of us have Italian blood coursing through our veins and if that's all you serve up to your guests you'll be the black sheep and accused of starving everyone. So, turn that sausage into a tray or two of sausage and peppers, and while you're at it you might as well make a tray of ziti. Don't forget the bread. 

Editor's note: When it comes to martinis, we are generally a purist--gin only. There's something about the whiff of juniper that takes all the stress away and invokes memories of summer's past. If only we could remember those summer's past, because after three martini's who remembers anything? But it's a holiday weekend, so if vodka martini's are more to your liking, then be bold and go for it. 

Whiskey sours are more sublime in their kick, and a refreshing compliment for an early evening barbecue. Just watching the cherry frolicking in your glass atop a sea of froth is fun, fun, fun, and puts you in the perfect festive mood. 

A Place In The Sun is a story about a young, extraordinarily wealthy society babe, Liz, who falls hard for a poor boy with potential who works in daddy's bathing suit factory. While Liz's head is in the stars, Monty is on the make with a whiny, needy factory girl he ends up knocking up, played brilliantly by Shelly Winters. 

Things begin to heat up for Liz and Monty, and he knows he's hit a home run when he spends the end of summer weekend at her family's enormous lake house. There's only one problem. The paparazzi catches him and Liz jet skiing while poor preggo Shelly is in her one room efficiency sipping tea alone, reading the paper. 

A woman scorned is one thing, but a woman carrying your baby stuck in a one room efficiency while you're jet-skiing with Liz Taylor is a potential (spoiler alert!) death sentence. With newspaper in hand, an emotionally wrecked Shelly hunts Monty down at the lake house and threatens to expose her belly to the belle. With a promise of marriage, Monty takes Shelly for a canoe ride for two on Loon Lake, which pretty much says it all. The problem is that only one of them comes back to shore. And it's not Shelly. 

The rest of the movie shows a violet-eyed Liz in trembling close-ups, just on the verge of having her Max Factor mascara smear from tears. I think she has about 30 costume changes in the last half-hour of the film, but no matter because it's Liz and she's lovely! Meanwhile, Monty is molding in a jail cell awaiting his sentence, dreaming of lovely Liz and sulking into the lens of a camera. Fade out to...more drinks, because by the end of this movie, you'll relive all your trips to Loon Lake (come on, we've all been there!) and need that whiff of juniper to forget them all.  

Remember, all these movies can be obtained through . If they don't have it in their collection, they can order it from a library that does. 

Enjoy this last (unofficial) weekend of summer!

 

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