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A railroad official, Owen Legate comes to Dodson, Mississippi to shut down much of the town's railway (town's main income). Owen unexpectedly finds love with Dodson's flirt and main attraction, Alva Starr. Alva and Owen then try to escape Alva's mother's (Hazel) clutches and the town's revenge. Written by
Natalie Wood had to perform a scene standing in a steel water tank for cattle. She was so afraid of dark water that costar Robert Blake had to dive under the water, hold his breath and steady her legs so she could perform the scene. See more »
At about 1:20 Alva smashes Mr. Johnson's glass during a toast in the bar, then later in the scene the glass is sitting on the table unbroken. See more »
This is one of Natalie Wood's best dramatic performances. She had been a major star for more than a decade when she made this film so it is hard to believe she was only 27. Her looks were the best they ever were.
Robert Redford was not a major star yet but his performance was equal to anything he did later.
This story is classic Tennessee Williams. I'm sure he only climbed out of a bottle long enough to write it and then crawled right back inside. It revolves around a railroad executive who travels the company line and trims the personnel fat during the great depression. He hits a small southern Mississippi town where one could cut the humidity and poverty with a knife. He has to decide which men to fire and which to keep. Then his very ordered and structured life gets complicated when he stays at a boarding house run by a dysfunctional family. He meets the oldest daughter, Natalie Wood, who is the local beauty. Great credit goes to casting and whoever scouted and selected the site location.
The supporting characters are superb in their roles as examples of the worst people we've ever run into. Everyone except Redford's character is living in total denial. They're all shallow losers.
Weird flick. Great, but weird. Depressing, but weird.
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