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Heavy-breather via King Vidor...not terribly convincing, but shameless fun
The turbulent life of a female sea captain is revealed. Jennifer Jones does quite well in the meaty leading role of Ruby, a swamp girl from the Carolinas who infiltrates an indifferent high society after marrying wealthy businessman Karl Malden. However, that marriage was just a convenience for this hellcat, who has pined her whole life for intrigued childhood hunting pal Charlton Heston, himself a recent newlywed to a girl who hails from the right side of the tracks. Silvia Richards' screenplay, which originated from a story by Arthur Fitz-Richard, is alarmingly direct, cutting right to the action despite a few well-placed flashbacks. Still, the narrative is somewhat confused (who's telling this story? If it's supposed to be Bernard Phillips' smitten doctor, he isn't around a whole lot). Jones sidesteps camp (just barely) with some enjoyably wild behavior in the film's second-half, and yet this portion of the movie doesn't quite fit comfortably alongside the rest--it plays almost like an unrelated episode. Director and co-producer King Vidor's strongest work comes in the earliest sequences, which have a well-wrought sense of character and pacing which the finale tends to lack. **1/2 from ****
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