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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>
Oscar Levant said about Producer Jerry Wald, "He suddenly became involved with William Faulkner. He'd buy a Faulkner property and that turgid, incomprehensible prose was on one occasion transformed into " The Long, Hot Summer." In that picture Orson Welles played a "big daddy" type of role. Sometimes he was inaudible - Those were his best moments." See more »
This is one of those films which is now even better, as it nears a half-century since its original release.
The characters and performances are just as enjoyable to view today - the young Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, vintage Orson Welles - and Tony Franciosa and Lee Remick (along with Orson, both now gone).
The other actors' performances were also excellent, and the characters remain as interesting today as in times past.
Newman's "Ben Quick" fuses the characteristics of both "hero" and "anti-hero" into one role as profoundly as virtually any other film or stage character you're apt to see.
The nostalgia of a work such as this, now seen anew after so many years since production, is something added which only the requisite passage of time enables one to view and enjoy.
In the company of other authors in this genre, such as Caldwell, Steinbeck, Williams, et al, Faulkner's works were among the best, and this is clearly revealed in this fine film.
If I were required to find an area to criticize, it would be the same as I noticed in one of the comments on this site: namely, the somewhat overly-quick and brief "resolution" of the estrangement between Welles and Franciosa, the impatient patriarch and his older child/son. I realize this brevity may have been due to neither Newman nor Woodward being involved - but the writers and director could still have made it a bit more detailed and intricate, with only, say, another two minutes of film. But this aside, this is a superb motion picture - both then and now.
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