The saga of the Hatfield-and-McCoy feud is romanticized in Samuel Goldwyn's Roseanna McCoy. Newcomer Joan Evans stars as the title character, whose elopement with Johnse Hatfield serves to ...
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Josef von Sternberg,
The saga of the Hatfield-and-McCoy feud is romanticized in Samuel Goldwyn's Roseanna McCoy. Newcomer Joan Evans stars as the title character, whose elopement with Johnse Hatfield serves to further fuel the flames of the deadly mountain feud.
I really expected to like Roseanna McCoy because it had a really good premise and fine actors. Unfortunately, the way the characters were developed left much to be desired. Johnse Hatfield is introduced as a stalker, which may have been acceptable in 1949. However, I have watched many movies from that era and the way Johnse behaved (supposedly)out of desire for her would never have been acceptable.
Johnse's actions concerning Roseanna McCoy may have been begrudgingly tolerated after a long courtship. But from his first several meetings with her, it is made clear that Johnse is a loathsome and dumb, albeit handsome, brute. I understood Roseanna McCoy was supposed to be extremely naive, but some of the ridiculous choices she made left me wanting to see bad things happen to her. It did not seem like Roseanna cared about anything or anyone, including herself.
The lovers' families were feuding just like in Romeo and Juliet, but that is where the similarities end. Johnse was certainly no Romeo and Roseanna was definitely not Juliette. The love story seemed very forced, and not just because Johnse takes what he wants, world be damned. In the third act, the movie tries to create sympathy for the two characters but it is far too late. Johnse and Roseanna were the two characters I cared about least in the movie.
As other reviewers have stated, the cinematography was excellent in Roseanna McCoy. I just wish the rest of the film had been as fine as the camera-work.
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