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Bayou (1957)

 |  Drama  |  June 1957 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 60 users  
Reviews: 4 user

A New York architect meets a Cajun beauty in a remote bayou village.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Martin Davis
Lita Milan ...
Marie Hebert
...
Emil Hebert
Jonathan Haze ...
Bos
...
Etienne (as Edwin Nelson)
Eugene Sonfield ...
Jean Tithe
Evelyn Hendrickson ...
Doucette
Milton Schneider ...
Cousine
Michael Romano ...
Felician
...
Ulysses (as Tim Carey)
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Storyline

A community of Cajun fishermen living around a remote bayou includes one authentic beauty, Marie, who wants to better herself but must deal with the unwelcome attentions of storekeeper Ulysses. When she meets Martin Davis, visiting New York architect, they hit it off at once; but the sinister Ulysses is not inclined to suffer a Yankee rival. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Somewhere, a 15-year old girl may be a teenager... in the Cajun country, she's a woman full-grown! ...and every Bayou man knows it!

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

June 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Poor White Trash  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Repackaged as "Poor White Trash", The film ran for years on the south's drive-in circuit on a successful double feature with the similarly themed "I Hate Your Guts" (aka Shame). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Polyester (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

BAYOU SONG
(uncredited)
Written by Edward I. Fessler
Sung behind credits by Dick Noel
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Worth seeking out only for Timothy Carey
17 April 2006 | by (Worcester, MA) – See all my reviews

The film is legendary among cult cinema and drive-in fans for several reasons. It was originally released in 1957 as a standard hicksploitation flicker, and flopped horribly. However, four years later, a produced picked it up for distribution again, added an incredibly lurid campaign that showcased and exaggerated the film's subtle sexuality, and added new sequences and footage. He also changed the film's title from the dull "Bayou" to the more profitable "Poor White Trash". The film was cleverly over-hyped, and became a box office hit. One asks if its either a trashy cult classic or a bore that made money off clever marketing? To be honest, it is neither. It isn't the trashiest and most entertaining exploitation film ever made. However, it certainly has its moments, almost all of them involving Timothy Carey as the villain.

The film is about an architect who gos to Cajun country. There he falls in love with a beautiful young Cajun girl. However, she has been arranged to marry the vile and sleazy Ulysses. All this makes Ulysses very unhappy, so he plans to make life a living hell for the architect.

One wonders how an actor such as Peter Graves was drawn into starring in this film. His years of super stardom with "Mission Impossible" were still ahead of him, yet he had already gained some notice for his role in "Stalag 17". Surely, he could've done better than this tawdry exploitation quickie, and he seems to be in it for the sole purpose of picking up a check. He is generally bored, and when its only him and the young Cajun girl on screen, the film is tedious.

The one aspect of the film that makes it worth seeking out is Timothy Carey. The actor has a generally bizarre screen appearance that gained him a small yet loyal following, which I am a proud member of. As Ulysses, he infuses all his great qualities as an actor. If you have seen him as the hired gun in "The Killing" or as one of the soldiers awaiting execution in "Paths of Glory", you know he is an unique actor. With the exception of the film he made himself "The World's Greatest Sinner", this gave him his biggest opportunity to shine. His dance towards the end is one of the most outrageous moments in cult film history. In every role he played, he infused his trademark creepy surrealism. Whenever he is on screen, the film lives up to all the hype. When he isn't in the scene, the film drags incredibly.

As I stated, this film is worth watching only for Carey. That is the sole reason why it is held in esteem by some trash fans. His performance is amazing and one of the greatest in drive-in cinema. When the film is devoted to Graves and the other actors, it is worthless. It is worth tracking down a copy of overall, and is available from Sinister Cinema. (5/10)


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