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Shiftless Jeeter Lester and his family of hillbilly stereotypes live in a rural backwater where their ancestors were once wealthy planters. Their slapstick existence is threatened by a bank's plans to take over the land for more profitable farming; subplots involve the affairs and marriages of son Dude and daughter Ellie May. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Director John Ford was certainly an odd duck; the stories he was attracted to ran the gamut from "The Searchers" to "The Quiet Man" to this one, a head-scratcher of a tragicomedy based on Erskine Caldwell's book and Jack Kirkland's popular stage-adaptation. Eccentric Georgia farm family is threatened with poverty when the bank forecloses on their land, leading patriarch Jeeter to use his wiles in hopes of raising $100 for a year's worth of rent. Movie swings wildly from hick-slapstick to poignant drama; however, once you've had a chance to get attuned to Ford's rhythm, it's a pretty terrific ride. Charley Grapewin gives an Oscar-caliber performance (he wasn't even nominated!), and it's fun to see Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews looking very youthful three years before "Laura". Good show! *** from ****
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