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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Anne Heywood plays a schoolteacher who is slowly going insane
(literally) because she has never had sex (!). A doctor tells her,
"Nature intended us to use our bodies---if we don't, they dry up!"
Shortly afterwards, she is brutally raped by a "grinning black thug", a
character who seems to have walked right out of a racist Ku Klux Klan
brochure. Instead of calling the cops, she starts a lurid sexual affair
with her attacker, and in the end, she is run out of town by the local
The film is "politically incorrect", borderline racist, and morally reprehensible, BUT having said that, the film actually is somewhat engrossing and compelling on that level, just as long as you know what you are getting into before you watch it. Okay? "Name" actors appear in cameos, and they probably didn't know the details of the film. Supposedly based on a story by William Inge---I wonder how faithful it is?
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
***SPOILERS*** Brutally honest and uncompromising, minus any political
correctness, look at middle, if not the entire country, America in the
mid 1950's that takes place in the little town of Freedom Kansas.
Spinster and dedicated high school Latin teacher Miss Evelyn Wyckoff,
Anne Heywood, is going through a mid-life crisis in that she's pushing
40 and is still a virgin. With her hormones starting to kick in and
feeling that she's missing out in her never having a sexual affair,
married or not, with a member of the opposite sex Evelyn seeks help
from her gynecologist Dr. Neal, Robert Vaughn. Seeing that her problems
are mental as well as psychical Dr. Neal recommends that she sees a
psychiatrist that he know in Wichita Dr. Steiner, Donald Plesence, who
specializes in sexual matters for help in what's bothering her.
Told by a very interested and probing into her sex, or non sex, life Dr. Steiner, whom you can see really enjoys doing his job, that all she really needs is a dose of O'l fashion style "Good Lovin" from a man to get her back on track. Evelyn soon finds that man in the bus driver Ed Eckles, Earl Holliman, on the Freedom to Wichita route who as she so sadly later finds out is married! As things soon turn out just as the two start getting it on and about to go study Ed checked out on both his wife and young daughter as well as Evelyn leaving her high and dry without a male companion.
It's when Evelyn is at her lowest point that the African American high school student and part time janitor who's also the star halfback on the school's football team Rafe Collins, John Lafayette, sensing just how desperate Evelyn is makes a play for her and it has nothing at all to do with football. At first resisting Rafe's crude sexually explicate and in her face advances Evelyn later finds herself trapped after school hours in her own classroom where he brutally ends up raping her. Suffering from what was later in the 1970's to be described as "Stockholm Syndrome" or the love of one's abuser Evelyn continues her affair with a very abusive Rafe that is to end in a total disaster for her! That's when the two are caught, doing it over a steaming radiator, in the act by two students assigned to mop up her classroom!
Disgraced humiliated and shunned by everyone in town even her best friend and fellow teacher Beth, Carolyn Jones, there's nothing left for Evelyn to do but leave town and find a new teaching job where no one knows her and what she was involved in. It was a sad ending for a really crazy mixed up woman Evelyn Wyckoff who looked for love in all the wrong places, among her students and philandering bus drivers, and finding nothing but suffering, both emotionally and psychically, in its place.
You can find a lot of things shocking in "Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff" in how it depicts racial relations back in 1954 America and how a desperate and emotionally unbalanced woman like Miss Wyckoff who was as open minded and liberal as they come, back in those Cold War segregation and McCarthyite years, having her both social and political feelings tested to their absolute limits. Yet it's hard to fault the film by it being so openly as well as brutally honest about that explosive subject matter that would now be avoided by practically all the Hollywood film studios. And with the film not at all trying to cop out by putting or injecting into it's screenplay 25 year in advance politically correct ideas to make it acceptable to those of us watching it.
Strong screenplay that did not require graphic sexual content to convey its message. A white woman has an affair with a black man and she initially tries to fight it....but its no use. One of the best films I have ever seen for honesty in portraying human sexuality but not too blatantly. Remember the little girl in Schindler's List that had the colored coat? Be on the lookout for the chalk scribbles on the sidewalk that conjure up a message that is equally as strong.
A 40ish, repressed school teacher is raped by a young, black janitor in the
1950s. It truly disturbs her, but she realizes she enjoyed it and begins a
secret sexual relationship with him. But how long will this remain a
Very well acted by everybody...but why was this done? The story has been done many times before and this adds nothing new. As I said, the acting keeps you watching but it adds up to very little.
Try to avoid the cable TV version--all the male nudity (there isn't much) is cut out and a crucial sex scene is badly edited. Try to see it on video.
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