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Ben Quick arrives in Frenchman's Bend, MS after being kicked out of another town for allegedly burning a barn for revenge. Will Varner owns just about everything in Frenchman's Bend and he hires Ben to work in his store. Will thinks his own son, Jody, who manages the store, lacks ambition and despairs of him getting his wife, Eula, pregnant. Will thinks his daughter, Clara, a schoolteacher, will never get married. He decides that Ben Quick might make a good husband for Clara to bring some new blood into the family. Written by
Lisa Grable <email@example.com>
The Long, Hot Summer is what movies are all about. Newman is so sexy it's no wonder that Agnes pleads with her friend Clara not to send this handsome stranger away too fast, even if he's a sewing machine salesman. Joanne Newman as Clara looks beautiful with her blonde hair pulled back tight and a little half twist to her hips when she walks.
Although some reviewers have said this film is more Tennesse Williams than Faulkner, Clara does not resemble Williams' tragic heroines who are mired in the past. She is mightily tempted by Newman's Ben Quick, the "modern man," who advises her than the world is ruled by the meat-eaters. It is Clara who makes their first tryst possible and though it ends with angry words, it is obvious these two are meant for each other.
Will Varner, played over-the-top by Orson Welles, is Clara's father. He owns everything in town and figures his holdings extend to his daughter. He wants sons to carry on his name and Ben Quick looks like the man for his Clara.
The movie creates a town that feels as though it will live on after the film is over and people who relate to each other as if there was no camera present. Granted it's not the real South but the mythic South. Sex goes hand in hand with the dust and the heat. Aristocratic blood is running thin. A handsome "bull" of a stranger appears to liven things up. Newman swings his battered old suitcase with the confidence of a man who knows he'll soon be sleeping on satin sheets.
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