The morning of a small town Labor Day picnic, a drifter (Hal Carter) blows into town to visit an old fraternity buddy (Alan Benson) who also happens to be the son of the richest man in town. Hal is an egocentric braggart - all potential and no accomplishment. He meets up with Madge Owens, the town beauty queen and girlfriend of Alan Benson. Written by
Erik L. Ellis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I like the surface simplicity of this movie, beneath which lie important questions: Can we be free of our ancestors' demons? Can love between two emotionally crippled people be healthy?
Madge and Hal are -- probably tragically - made for each other. Each is a product of a broken home. Each wants to create a life worth living, despite family history, circumstances, and friends who expect little of them. My heart goes out to both of them. (The sad truth is that Madge's mother's warning will probably come true.)
I love the ambiguity of the movie's ending. I read that William Inge (or was it the screenwriter?) had originally had Madge return to her five and dime deadend job. I much prefer the ending that Mr. Logan chose.
Alcohol ought to be listed in the cast credits. It plays a big role at the picnic, and the effects of parental alcoholism pervade Hal's and Madge's lives.
Roz Russell the town schoolmarm and Howard the shopkeeper provide delightfully lighthearted counterpoints.
No car crashes, no karate. Just a simple story, simple setting, and timeless questions.
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