Farm family Frake, with discontented daughter Margy, head for the Iowa State Fair. On the first day, both Margy and brother Wayne meet attractive new flames; so does father's prize hog, ... See full summary »
A writer meets a young socialite on board a train. The two fall in love and are married soon after, but her obsessive love for him threatens to be the undoing of both them and everyone else around them.
Margie and her daughter reminisce about Margie's girlhood in the roaring twenties. In flashback, Margie, a smarter, less popular girl at Central High, meets handsome new French teacher ... See full summary »
Pinky, a light skinned black woman, returns to her grandmother's house in the South after graduating from a Northern nursing school. Pinky tells her grandmother that she has been "passing" for white while at school in the North. In addition, Pinky has fallen in love with a young white doctor, Dr. Thomas Adams, who knows nothing about her black heritage. Pinky says that she will return to the North, but Granny Johnson convinces her to stay and treat an ailing white woman, Miss Em. Meanwhile, Dr. Canady, a black physician from another part of the state, visits Pinky and asks her to train some African American students, but she declines. Pinky nurses Miss Em but is resentful because she seems to feel that she is doing the same thing her grandmother did. Pinky and Miss Em slowly develop a mutual respect for one another. Mrs. Em leaves Pinky her property when she dies, but relatives of the deceased woman contest the new will in court. To raise money for the court fees, Pinky washes clothes... Written by
Broncine G. Carter
Do-gooder drama purports to be 'brave', but is more hesitant than anything else...
Racial-issue melodrama has light-skinned black nurse (Jeanne Crain, improbably cast but doing good work) named a recipient in the will of a wealthy white Southern dowager whom the nurse took care of in her final days; the will is contested by the deceased woman's greedy cousin, who is shown not only to be racist but a bigot and a liar as well. Atmospheric actors' piece, adapted from Cid Ricketts Sumner's book, allows white actress Crain to have a white boyfriend, but very little contact with the blacks on-screen (Pinky's own people!). There's a balky hesitancy detectable right from the start, and director Elia Kazan does very little to warm up the scenario. Still, the slim plot becomes absorbing by the second-half, with only the audience pulling for the resilient screen heroine. Crain has been directed to wear a racial chip on her shoulder with both pride and defensiveness (mostly she just looks unhappy). I didn't quite believe her relationship with laundress-grandmother Ethel Waters (who disappears after the courtroom sequence, one in which Pinky doesn't even take the stand in her own defense); however, Crain's misty-eyed, youthful determination brings out something extra in the role which neither the script nor the direction accounted for. She's tough, certainly, and stubborn, but she's also an intelligent presence--nobody's victim--and she garners our respect. Crain, Waters, and Ethel Barrymore (doing her usual dryly-bemused turn) all received Oscar nominations. **1/2 from ****
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