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Sammy Davis Jr.
In the pre-Civil War South, a sadistic plantation-owner brutalizes his slaves to the point of them heaving no other choice but to rebel. Always obedient, peaceful and honest old slave Tom plays a central role in this tragedy.
Géza von Radványi
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When wild child Anna Lucasta (Kitt) is banished from the family home by her self-righteous father, she falls into a life of prostitution and into the arms of street-wise sailor Danny Johnson (Davis). But after Anna shocks them all by finally finding true love with a well-heeled young suitor, her unforgiving father sets a vengeful plan in motion to remind his daughter of her sordid past and destroy her future forever! Written by
It took a long time for Philip Yordan's play Anna Lucasta to get made into a film and it turned out to be a good showcase for the talents of stars Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis, Jr. The play ran on Broadway from 1944-46 and had 957 performances on Broadway. Several of the cast members in supporting roles returned for the screen. I'm sure that there were wartime references in the play that were cut out for the screen version as Sammy Davis, Jr.'s part was that of a sailor.
Sailor and general all around good time guy Davis's favorite call when in San Diego is Eartha Kitt in the title role. Some years earlier Kitt was caught getting down with some boy by her self righteous father and cast out of the home and drifted into prostitution.
But now her father Rex Ingram has come looking for her wanting her back. He thinks she will make a good wife for the son of an old friend from Alabama who has come to California. Henry Scott also has $4000.00 from his father and Anna's family who isn't the classiest bunch around also eyes him with that bankroll like an expensive cut of meat in a butcher shop.
She marries Scott, but Davis ain't finished. Soon enough Kitt has some real marital issues. Scott is a decent enough guy, but a bit naive as to the ways of the world, surprising for someone who wants a career teaching agricultural science like George Washington Carver.
As for Davis I think this role may have caught the eye of Otto Preminger who cast him in the very similar part of Sporting Life in Porgy And Bess the following year. Eartha Kitt shows off all her slinkiness that made her famous, but like Lena Horne Hollywood did not know what to do with her. I also think that she may have been a second choice behind Dorothy Dandridge good as Kitt is.
Anna Lucasta is a good film and a great chance to see Eartha Kitt and Sammy Davis, Jr. in their salad days.
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