Danny Hawkins, who lives in a psychological shadow because his father died by a hangman's noose, accidentally kills a man in a fight over a girl, Gilly Johnson, and is afraid to notify the police. He wins the love of the girl but when she tries to influence him to admit his guilt, he runs away. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
I was 11 years old when I first saw this film and, being so young, I only recalled that it was a haunting tale of misdeeds, guilt, and romance. And of course I developed a crush on Dane Clark at an early age!
After 50 years I've had the privilege of seeing it again and was very much absorbed into the atmosphere of this fine drama which takes you through many levels of emotion.
What impressed me most was the gradual unfolding, or dissolving, of the tumultuous emotional grip which anger and revenge had wrought on Danny (Dane Clark) throughout his life, who seemed overwhelmingly burdened by the past guilt of his father, and some would not let him forget it. No doubt living in a small town only added to the difficulties since everyone knew their neighbour, not like city life would be.
The actors are first-rate here and do justice to every phase of the story. Ethel Barrymore as Grandma has a way of bringing so much authenticity to the story. Gail Russell as Gilly is superb and exquisite in the romantic lead although she too is troubled by Danny's behaviour for much of the film and tries to help him. Henry Morgan in this film was my first encounter with him and of course he went on to greater fame in later life as an actor.
Since this film is based on a novel, I think I just might get out there and buy the book! When a movie is that intriguing it's interesting to trace it to its source.
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