Following the Second World War, a northern cannery combine negotiates for the purchase of a large tract of uncultivated Georgia farmland. The major portion of the land is owned by Julie Ann... See full summary »
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André De Toth
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Following the Second World War, a northern cannery combine negotiates for the purchase of a large tract of uncultivated Georgia farmland. The major portion of the land is owned by Julie Ann Warren and has already been optioned by her unscrupulous, draft dodging husband, Henry. Now the combine must also obtain two smaller plots - one owned by Henry's cousin Rad McDowell, a combat veteran with a wife and family; the other by Reeve Scott, a young black man whose mother had been Julie's childhood Mammy. But neither Rad nor Reeve is interested in selling and they form an unprecedented black and white partnership to improve their land. Although infuriated by the turn of events, Henry remains determined to push through the big land deal. And when Reeve's mother Rose dies, Henry tries to persuade his wife to charge Reeve with illegal ownership of his property, confident the the bigoted Judge Purcell will rule against a Negro. Written by
Film critic Rex Reed interviewed Otto Preminger and the cast during the filming in the summer of 1966 and was given a bit part in the film as a farmer. See more »
In one scene as the camera pans down the street, a later model Ford can be seen in a carport. See more »
[The bigoted Judge Purcell rebukes a white lawyer for his help to the black defendant]
Don't you rattle your skeleton in my court! Your being here at all constitutes a treachery to the entire white community that's too colossal to be believed!
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I liked Hurry Sundown despite the unevenness of the story and characters
I first knew about this film when I read about it in the book, "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time" and I also found out about its location shooting in my current hometown of Baton Rouge, La., either there or elsewhere. I also read that the locals there treated the cast and crew hostilely which makes me glad that my family didn't even move there until 1975 when I was about 7 and being just a kid, I usually got away with getting occasionally angry whenever other children my age called me "Chinese" (I'm actually of Filipino descent). About the movie itself, well, the first 30 minutes seemed all right dramatically-wise with the setting up of characters before Beah Richards' over-the-top heart attack turned the picture into close of an overheated soap opera worthy of "Dallas"-of which George Kennedy, who's a hoot as the sheriff with a penchant for liking the "coloreds", would join the cast of in the late '80s-especially whenever that mentally-challenged kid of Michael Caine and Jane Fonda was constantly crying. Caine had just become a star with Alfie while Ms. Fonda would become a sex symbol with Barbarella though maybe this film also contributed to her status when she played hubby Caine's sax. Another notable appearance was that of Faye Dunaway in an early role just before she became a star in Bonnie and Clyde. Burgess Meredith chews plenty of scenery as a bigoted judge especially when sharing some of that with Jim Backus as one of the attorneys in a court scene. By the way, Backus wasn't the only Sherwood Schwartz series regular-from "Gilligan's Island"-in that sequence as future star of "The Brady Bunch"-Robert Reed-would be his opposite here. And then there's Diahann Carroll who would later star in her own groundbreaking series the following year called "Julia". Okay, with that out of the way, I'll just say that I thought the drama was entertaining but I also knew that it's not for all tastes and leave it at that. So on that note, I recommend Hurry Sundown. P.S. On Wikipedia, I just found out that Preminger picked BR on the recommendation of production designer Gene Callahan who lived and eventually died there.
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