Fifteen years after the Civil War the people of Bowden, Alabama still hate Marcus Hubbard for wartime profiteering. He's also at odds with wife Lavinia and his sons, conniving Ben and weak Oscar; but beautiful daughter Regina gets all she wants from him. Conflicts intensify when Regina gets involved with John Bagtry, scion of the old gentry, and Oscar with the Ku Klux Klan; on a stormy night, family relationships unravel. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
Destined for the stage, but somehow ingeniously made into a movie, this heavy drama about an ostracized family and there internal implosion gets better with each passing minute all the way up to its smashing ending. The superb cast includes an impressive list of names, but even the lesser roles (Dona Drake in particular) contribute significantly, while the story is nearly flawlessly presented, with a few touches that take advantage of the cinematic medium, especially a terrifically edited sequence with Drake doing a Can-Can in a dancehall while out in the woods the KKK is beating a carpetbagger senseless. But what gets the most attention is the constant state of maneuvering between three siblings for the father's favor and his money, and the father's utter disdain, brilliantly portrayed by Frederic March, for his two sons, the hardworking Edmond O'Brien and his lazy younger brother played by Dan Duryea. What stands out is the consistent level of fascination and intensity that the film maintains from start to finish, and the fact that it (this film) seems all but lost today.
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