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Olivia de Havilland,
A young girl is raped while coming home from work. The trauma of the attack turns her away from her parents and her fiancée, and, unable to face society, she runs away and, using an assumed name, takes a job on an orange ranch. A young clergyman takes an interest in her, although she won't confide in him. When a ranch hand tries to kiss her, she relives her terrifying experience and nearly kills him. She is arrested but when her identity is established and the facts of her case are brought forth, the clergyman convinces the court that it is society that should shoulder the blame. He helps rebuild her faith and send her back to her parents and fiancée. Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
American Film Institute Catalog of Feature Films 1941-1950 claims Tod Andrews made his screen debut in this film; actually, he has at least a dozen and a half previous credits while under contract to Warner Bros. as Michael Ames. See more »
The term "Rape" was unmentionable on the Screen in 1950. So here it is referred to as "Criminal Assault/Attack". If this seems silly and dated, just think of the 1980's when we had a President of the United States, Ronald Reagan, who refused to utter the word "Aids" as thousands were suffering and dying. So maybe we haven't matured that much after all.
Maverick Female Film Star/Director Ida Lupino determined to break barriers and push for Women's Rights decided to approach the Taboo and deliver a Story of a previously unseen on the Screen Fear facing Females everywhere.
She handled it quite well, considering, although there are some missteps and considerations given here that make this a noble, but flawed effort. The first half is the most uncompromising, with its expressionistic use of the Camera and a terrifying cat and mouse chase that ends with the aforementioned "assault".
But after that the situations begin to become clichéd and comfortable ways to allow the Victim to come to grips with her Anxiety. The Hollywood Code would interfere greatly and there is one scene that is completely condescending to a Male Stereotype and Cultural Mythology as she is pawed and mashed, defends herself, and is arrested because the brute is "a nice guy". This doesn't seem to be presented as Irony, as His harsh advances are never questioned, and the Film has to be faulted for that misstep.
Overall though it is and Icon of the era and is noted for its breakthrough of at least tackling the subject matter, but it probably played it just a bit too safe to be considered more than a somewhat tepid try at breaking the Paradigm.
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