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Ruby Gentry (1952)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 829 users  
Reviews: 28 user | 7 critic

A sexy but poor young girl marries a rich man she doesn't love, but carries a torch for another man.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Ruby Gentry
...
Boake Tackman
...
Jim Gentry
Tom Tully ...
Jud Corey
Barney Phillips ...
Dr. Saul Manfred / Narrator (as Bernard Phillips)
James Anderson ...
Jewel Corey
Josephine Hutchinson ...
Letitia Gentry
...
Tracy McAuliffe
Herbert Heyes ...
Judge Tackman
Myra Marsh ...
Ma Corey
Charles Cane ...
Cullen McAuliffe
Sam Flint ...
Neil Fallgren
...
Clyde Pratt
Edit

Storyline

A sexy but poor young girl marries a rich man she doesn't love, but carries a torch for another man.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of Ruby Gentry, who wrecked a whole town -- man by man ...sin by sin See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1953 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

La furie du désir  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$525,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Early in the film, Ruby and Boake are driving on the beach in his car. There are noticeable mountains in the background. Since the film takes place on the coast of North Carolina, the landscape should be flat with the exception of sand dunes. See more »

Quotes

Ruby Gentry: Turn off the pumps.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: Jennifer Jones: Portrait of a Lady (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Snobbery, hypocrisy, and small-minded people
26 January 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's no big surprise that RUBY GENTRY receives such mixed reviews, because the theme of the film will not appeal to small-town America. Ruby is a girl from the wrong side of the tracks, as the narrator at the beginning of the film states. What this is code for in classic Hollywood is not necessarily straight translation. In other words, we are in the realm of a lost art form: the romantic film, or the melodrama. King Vidor was a master of this craft.

Ruby, then, was different. She was a free spirit, an unconventional thinker, and a seductive beauty. This is a lethal combination in the small, conservative town Ruby grows up in. She falls in love, of course, with the 'popular' boy, the rich kid, who the most well-bred society girls are after. Of course none of them have anything except their money against Ruby, and Boake (Charlton Heston) knows it! So there is an essential conflict between what Boake wants (Ruby) and what he is expected to have. He, unlike Ruby, is rather weak, and afraid. Deep down he loves her, but he lacks her spirit and wisdom. He won't go after someone looked down on by the town. He has to be 'respectable.' He cares what others think. Ruby does not, so she is willing to fight for him, but at the same time she does not want to be taken for granted. She wants her love to be fulfilled through marriage; he only wants her as a sex object.

I think it is important to note that Ruby Gentry is not necessarily a femme fatale, nor does she necessarily sin. She simply follows her heart. However, a series of accidents, including the death of her wealthy husband, occur, and Ruby is involved in scandal after scandal. The people always choose to believe the worst of her because she represents what they despise: an independent woman with beauty and natural intelligence, and class mobility.

RUBY GENTRY is a masterpiece. King vidor, my favorite director, is at the top of his form. Jennifer Jones, a talented and underrated actress, makes Ruby both sympathetic and believable. Charlton Heston is extremely effective as a complex character--one who on the surface seems shallow, but beneath the surface you can still feel his love for Ruby (which he struggles to hide, or deny).

Boake and his family feel they are above Ruby. Even Ruby's brother is judgmental and calls her a 'sinner,' based on assumptions. The final event in the film is a tragedy, but noteworthy because it was not the fault of Ruby or Boake, but a judgmental, hypocritical, and merciless society, imposing religious and social institutions which hinder us all.

The film is not dated. If anything, it proves melodrama is more effective than realism sometimes, where larger-than-life human emotions are concerned. People who call a movie like RUBY GENTRY 'trash' are actually in denial that the theme, and the emotions, are as vividly real and relevant now as ever. Anyone who thinks social class, sex appeal, and money do not count for everything in today's world, just as then, hasn't a clue. These are timeless themes, and the relationships in the film, and how they were negatively affected by the prejudice and snobbery around them, can be compared to any number of contemporary homosexual or interracial relationships, among others. How's that for relevance?

Sometimes the bigger emotions, the tragedies, are more appropriately told in melodramatic terms--because they are serious and heartbreaking and should not be reduced to cinematic language that conveys anything less!


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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