In this tale of a good girl who goes very bad, a beautiful young Southern lady remains faithful to the man she loves while he is away in the military . . . until she gets a letter that he ...
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Edward Everett Horton
Parrish McLean lives with his mother Ellen on Sala Post's tobacco plantation in the Connecticut River Valley. His mother winds up marrying Sala's rival Judd Raike, ruthless planter who ... See full summary »
In this tale of a good girl who goes very bad, a beautiful young Southern lady remains faithful to the man she loves while he is away in the military . . . until she gets a letter that he has fallen in love with another. Now, donning a tight dress and putting on new makeup, she proceeds to use her allure to seek vengeance by driving the men in her small town wild in their desire for Claudelle Inglish.
Claudelle (Diane McBain) is the very pretty teen-aged daughter of poor sharecroppers. Mom (Constance Ford) is sick of her dreary life and wants her daughter to marry a rich man, preferably the middle-aged owner of the plantation (Claude Akins) - this way Claudelle can have all the advantages and Mom as well. But Claudelle will have none of it- she's in love with Linn (Chad Everett) and will be true - until he jilts her. So she over-reacts and decides to become the town slut and go to hell in a handbag. She puts out for every lad in town, gets a reputation, but still refuses the plantation owner. Finally, when she starts seducing the lads' dads and mom gives herself to the plantation owner, well, Dad (Arthur Kennedy) - he gets mighty depressed.
This is like watching an accident - you know it's trash but you're fascinated and can't look away. It's treated so earnestly by all concerned.
What is most striking is the beauty of the young performers. McBain does an excellent acting job, slowly changing from a sweet innocent to a hardened and cynical woman. She is also a very beautiful young starlet here. The boys (Chad Everett, Robert Logan and especially Will Hutchins) are all gorgeous and very easy on the eyes.
The Academy nominated it for a Costume Design Oscar (no one told them that there are no costumes - every single piece of contemporary clothing could have been pulled from the racks of the nearest Woolworth's - studio block voting again). However, most deserving of Academy noms were Constance Ford's excellent supporting performance as the frustrated mom and the lush musical score by Howard Jackson.
Fun to watch - but not twice.
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