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Desire in the Dust (1960)

Passed  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  August 1961 (Austria)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 89 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

Lonnie Wilson, the son of a toothless sharecropper, Zuba Wilson, returns to small southern hometown after spending six years on the chain-gang for killing Colonel Ben Marquand's son in an ... See full summary »



(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Col. Ben Marquand
Melinda Marquand
Mrs. Marquand
Ken Scott ...
Lonnie Wilson
Dr. Ned Thomas
Luke Connett
Margaret Field ...
Maude Wilson (as Maggie Mahoney)
Zuba Wilson
Kelly Thordsen ...
Sheriff Wheaton
Burt Crane
Jack Ging ...
Peter Marquand
Anne Helm ...
Cass Wilson
Nora Finney
Paul Baxley ...
Thurman Case
Robert Earle ...


Lonnie Wilson, the son of a toothless sharecropper, Zuba Wilson, returns to small southern hometown after spending six years on the chain-gang for killing Colonel Ben Marquand's son in an automobile accident. He revives his love affair with Melinda Marquand, who is now Mrs. Melinda Thomas, since she married Dr. Ned Thomas, while Lonnie was serving time, in her place, for the accident she caused. Somewhat miffed about all this, Lonnie incites Dr. Ned about his wife's infidelity, which Dr. Ned verifies when he catches Lonnie and Melinda in a semi-torrid embrace in Colonel Marquand's hunting lodge. Melinda, looking for an explanation for this situation, shoots and wounds Lonnie to defend her innocence by claiming she was being raped. Colonel Marquand,who had bribed Lonnie to take the blame for his daughter, uses her story to try and have Sheriff Wheaton kill Lonnie, and put an end to all this mess. But there is another reel or two before this mess ends. Written by Les Adams <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


All the Temptations and Torments of a Small Southern Town!


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

August 1961 (Austria)  »

Also Known As:

Begierde im Staub  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After Melinda gets Lonnie back into the cabin by firing the two shots, she asks him whether he really thought she'd committed suicide. Very few people commit suicide by shooting themselves twice in rapid succession. See more »


Cass Wilson: I don't like to kiss men with whiskey on their breath.
Zuba Wilson: Well you better get used to it honey or it's going to cut down on your list of spooning partners considerable.
See more »

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User Reviews

TV actors galore in overblown southern drama
28 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Released in 1960, Desire in the Dust looks to have been a B movie, featuring a lot of TV actors and future TV actors: Raymond Burr, Anne Helm, Jack Ging, Edward Binns, Martha Hyer, and Brett Halsey. The film also looks to be attempting to cash in on the success of those southern Big Daddy dramas like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Long Hot Summer.

The Big Daddy in this one is Raymond Burr, who tightly controls a family that includes his off-her-rocker wife, played by Joan Bennett, stunningly beautiful daughter Hyer, her wimpy doctor husband, Brett Halsey, and son, Jack Ging. Bennnett never recovered from the death of a young son who was hit by a car six years earlier; Ging is love with the white trash daughter of the man who supposedly ran him over.

Of course, there's a lot more to the story than that and in 102 minutes, this film stuffs it all in, including more cigarettes and alcohol than one would see in ten films put together. There are also a lot of bullets, dust, and histrionics.

All in all, it's a slow go, with a couple of interesting segments and decent acting.

20 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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