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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
This film is set in the early Depression era; the wall calendar in the local railroad office shows the date as "Friday 14 August" but it did not reveal the year. That particular date combination occurred in both 1931 and 1936. Williams' original story, models of automobiles used in the film and many other aspects suggest 1931; but the film "One Way Passage," which the characters viewed at the Delta-Brilliant Theatre was released in 1932. See more »
When Alva's train is headed to New Orleans, there is a shot of it crossing a long over-water trestle, and there is a modern highway bridge in the background. 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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