After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city ...
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After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city slicker comes to town and convinces Verena to market Dolly's locally-famous tonic, Dolly finally gets some backbone, refuses to divulge the formula, and heads for a tree house with Collin and Catherine, the loyal maid. Verena, who has most of the town in her pocket, sics the law on the renegades. Dolly, Catherine, and Collin find a supporter in a retired judge, Charlie Cool, who's attracted to Dolly. Will Verena's venom win out? And what about that city slicker? Written by
Shame on you Dolly Talbo, sittin up in that tree like a drunken Indian, smoking on cigarettes like a common... Floozy
Preacher lady don't you be callin Ms. Dolly here no floozy now, why I come down there and slap you bow-legged.
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An all-star cast, (Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Walter Matthau, Jack Lemmon, Mary Steenburgen), makes this screen version of Truman Capote's novel watchable, and then some. But it's all too whimsical and twee to really work. It's directed by Walter Matthau's son Charles and he seems content to let the material speak for itself. It's straightforward and literal and unexciting. It's like something the Reader's Digest might have produced. However unlikely Truman Capote's source material there was poetry in almost every line. That's missing here despite the quaint Southern Gothic narration, and none of the cast are at their best or anything approaching it. Without anything like direction from Matthau they simply go through the motions. Still, it's a decent yarn and it tugs at the heartstrings and there you have it.
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