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This western begins with St. Louis resident Lutie Cameron (Katharine Hepburn) marrying New Mexico cattleman Col. James B. 'Jim' Brewton (Spencer Tracy) after a short courtship. When she arrives in "Salt Fork, NM" she finds that her new husband is considered by the locals to be a tyrant who uses force to keep homesteaders off the government owned land he uses for grazing his cattle--the so-called Sea of Grass. Lutie, has difficulty reconciling her husband's beliefs and passions with her own. Written by
Card at beginning: This story takes place for the most part against the background of the sea of grass - that vast grazing empire which once covered the western part of north America from the great plains to the rocky mountains, and beyond. See more »
"The Sea of Grass" showed up on cable recently and out of curiosity, we watched it, based on the great director at the helm, and the cast involved in it. Unfortunately, Elia Kazan wasn't up to the task of directing the Conrad Richter novel about the post pioneering days. In fact, this film sort of falls flat as neither Mr. Kazan, or its stars, show any semblance they were much interested in the project.
One would imagine that to bring together Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn to play the leading roles would inspire the rest of the cast, but alas, it wasn't meant to be. The film is, by no means, a total failure, on the contrary, but there are no sparks in it to keep the viewer interested.
As someone remarked in this forum, we don't get anything from the Colonel and Lutie in the way of love, from the start. For the romance they were living on the sly, the stars don't light up for the camera to give us a hint they are in love in real life. The only one that shows any spunk is Melvin Douglas, who as Brock, can't hide his love for Lutie. The supporting cast is good, with some excellent minor performances by Phyllis Thaxter, Edgar Buchanan, Ruth Nelson, James Bell, and the rest.
Watch "The Sea of Grass" if there's nothing better playing at the same time.
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