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Happy Fiftieth Anniversary, “Cinderella Liberty!”

Fifty years ago, the underrated Cinderella Liberty was released. Adapted by Daryl Ponicsan from his 1973 novel of the same title, the film tells the story of a sailor who falls in love with a prostitute and becomes a surrogate father for her 10-year-old mixed race son. The film stars James Caan, Marsha Mason and Eli Wallach, and was produced and directed by Mark Rydell.

The title is derived from the plot point that the sailor, while receiving medical treatment at the Navy base’s medical facility, is given what is called a “Cinderella Liberty” pass which allows him to freely leave the naval base as long as he is back by midnight curfew. The movie was filmed in Seattle, Washington.

The film is one of two 1973 film adaptations of Ponicsan’s novels based on his experiences in the U.S. Navy; the other being The Last Detail.