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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
This mint julep melodrama is a hooty delight. I suppose that at the time it was meant to shine a light on racial injustice in the south but it just comes off as an over-baked soap opera. Preminger was the wrong director for such a piece of honeyed excess, this is the type of thing at which Douglas Sirk excelled and could make trenchant observations while still entertaining the masses. Still worth watching for the cast alone. Jane Fonda gives the most enjoyable performance even if her honeychile accent comes and goes. And even as a sharecropper's wife with four kids Faye Dunaway manages to look ravishing. If you like overdone melodramas with lots of stars and little sense than this is for you, if not stay away!
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