This neighbors to the North melodrama was released by 20th Century Fox after Hayward's Oscar win for "I Want To Live!" It isn't a terrible film, but it isn't terribly good either. Hayward's Mary Sharron is widowed early in the story when her husband is killed by a falling flaming tree during a forest fire. Hayward grieves. Tries to run the farm herself. Is forced to hire moody Fred Carter (Steven Boyd). Hayward watches him chop wood in a tight white tee shirt and eventually marries him. Her son Robbie (Dennis Holmes) - a dreamy kid who hangs out by a quicksand pit and enjoys watching stock footage fauna frolic in the woods, has some difficulties with Carter - especially when Carter kills a deer and forces Robbie to watch the gutting. Carter gets tougher and touchier and more and more moody - he's a ball of psychological sturm und drang roiling with anger centered on his mamby pamby brother.... Carter's Canadian accent grows thicker as the plot careens toward rain and resolution. Carter rapes Mary - she becomes pregnant - Carter moves out to the barn - and threatens to leave altogether. Rain arrives, signaling: (as it always does) change. Carter carries Mary miles in the torrential downpour to town so that she can deliver her baby safely. She eventually learns of this selfless endeavor and her heart softens again. But, Carter is redeemed only after Robbie pulls him from the foreshadowed quicksand sinkhole. Unfortunately Hayward doesn't get much of a chance to crackle but fun performances and a decent amount of melodrama make this a fair one to catch.
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