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Despite their different social class Ruby and Boake grew up together in the 1950s North Carolina. Ruby Corey lived with her poor family in the swamps while Boake Tackman lived in a mansion with servants. As long as their friendship stayed within the socially acceptable limits no one objected. In adulthood their friendship becomes a mutual romantic attraction. Ruby wants to marry Boake but he only seems interested in romantic play without commitment. Maybe conscious of his social status or maybe being afraid to offend his snobbish family and conservative hometown folk, he marries a rich girl. Out of revenge Ruby marries Jim Gentry, a recently widowed rich old man to whom many townsfolk and local businesses owe money. When Gentry dies in an accident, the town blames Ruby. A now rich Ruby takes revenge on the town's folk by calling in their debts and loans. The girl from the swamps has become the town's biggest nightmare. Written by
This movie was the inspiration for a young singer from Mississippi named Roberta Lee Streeter to adopt the stage name Bobbi Gentry. See more »
The swamp background noise instead of being NC wildlife is jungle noises - Perhaps the same sound clip from Cape Fear with Gregory Peck. Both were to have taken place in the swamps of NC - yet both sounded like something out of Tarzan. See more »
This hormone driven drama should have provided fodder for a good prime time soap opera the way Joan Crawford's Flamingo Road was later turned into one for television. The characters and plot line are right up there with Dallas and Falcon Crest.
Jennifer Jones is driving all the men crazy here. First we have Charlton Heston who's the scion of the town's leading family. Good bloodlines, but a cash flow problem. He just wants a roll in the hay with her bad, but marry her and soil the family name, heaven forfend. Then we have Karl Malden, the town's richest man who stayed faithful to and invalid wife, but who also lusts for Jennifer and then marries her before the wife's body is cold. And we can't forget the Yankee doctor who comes to this North Carolina town and takes one look at Jennifer Jones in a tight blouse and he's hooked. Bernard Phillips who plays the doctor is the narrator and it's his eyes from which we see the action unfold. And we can't forget Jennifer's brother James Anderson, a wild religious fanatic who is constantly warning her about the wages of her sins, but there's more than a little hint of some incest he'd like to engage in.
Charlton Heston said in his memoirs that he enjoyed working with Jennifer Jones, Karl Malden and the rest of the cast, but David O. Selznick, Jen's husband and svengali was one royal pain.
The movie is trash, it don't pretend to be anything else, but it made a mint at the box office. If you liked Dallas, Falcon Crest, Dynasty, etc., you'll love Ruby Gentry.
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