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Virginia Tregan returns to her home in the U.S. Deep South from a sojourn in Paris only to discover that her family plantation and its holdings have been lost. She determines to recoup her family's fortune. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
A strong family saga of the antebellum South seen through new lenses...
Comparisons will inevitably be made between this production and GWTW, which despite its near enshrinement in American film lore has debatably more faults, primarily among them its source being a near rewrite of Thackeray's "Vanity Fair." The cinematography is not as slick here, nor the music track as inspired, but "Louisiana" was a TV miniseries, not a blockbuster studio effort with a mammoth budget behind it. The roles are mostly very well acted, with Andrea Ferreol quite inspired as the transplanted French maid and confidante of the selfish, scheming and feisty Southern belle played by Margot Kidder. Wonderful Ian Charleson is endearing as the long-suffering overseer who loves her in spite of her frequently unlovable behavior and can never possess her, but loyally lends moral support through her two headstrong marriages. Lloyd Bochner, Victor Lanoux, as the husbands and Len Cariou as the slimy toad who tries to be number three are all very good. The depiction of the black characters is much more believable and developed than in GWTW in which they are mere caricatures. Hilly Hicks as the indomitable Brent is just one example of how well these supporting players are written and acted. The story is just a lot more interesting as well...of particular note are the sequences concerning the underground railroad, spoiled young Adrien irresponsibly causing the wreck of a passenger river steamboat, and Virginia's plot to wreak vengeance on the French arms dealer who raped and killed her only daughter. Forget GWTW for a few hours and give this one a chance, it's far better than many of the other bigger budgeted antebellum films, and as a family saga it can stand with the best of them.
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