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A struggling young actress with a six year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
Rich American socialite Lady Edwina Esketh, who obtained her title by marrying English Lord Albert Esketh, travels to Ranchipur where Albert hopes to buy a prize stallion from the Maharani. Theirs is not a happy marriage and after she meets a prominent local doctor, Rama Safti, falls madly in love with him. He too is in love with her much to the Maharani's disapproval as she has great plans for the good doctor. Also living in Ranchipur is Tom Ransome an old friend of Edwina's who perhaps knows too much about her past. When a natural disaster destroys much of Ranchipur, disease follows forcing Safti to choose between treating the sick or being with Edwina, who is also deathly ill. Written by
Lana Turner, Richard Burton and great special effects
This wide-screen romance yarn showcases the lovely Lana Turner as a wealthy and restless socialite who becomes smitten with a handsome native doctor during a trip to India. This is the main thread of the film although there are other sub-plots at work here. Richard Burton is good as the object of Turner's affections and Eugenie Leontovich is regal as the Maharani who raised Burton from childhood. This sage queen watches the blossoming romance with cold displeasure, deeply jealous of Turner's hold on him. Fred MacMurray is involved in another clincher with Joan Caulfield that doesn't ring true and adds very little to the main story. Michael Rennie has a thankless role as Turner's husband, whom she keeps at arms's length throughout the movie. The ensuing monsoons, flooding and earthquake in the region are awesome and terrible in their destruction, the special effects of which are very good. Turner is clothed in a first-class wardrobe and the film's sets reflect the lavish production. Milton Krasner's camera and Hugo Friedhofer's exotic music score are first-rate.
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