The opening narration states that the scene is the Tidewater region of coastal Georgia. But many outdoor scenes have mountains in the background, which are not found in coastal Georgia. See more »
[Act I Opening Narration. Viewers see Richard Kimble working at a plantation research laboratory]
The Pruitt family home - the Tidewater South, Georgia. In antebellum years, a home graced by gracious women. And even after cotton was no longer king, the Pruitt women were gentle and well-bred. Richard Kimble, Fugitive, pauses here in his endless flight. For as long as he dares, he will be David Benton, research technician.
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Richard Kimble, using the name David Benton, is working in the laboratory of Allan Pruitt (actor Richard Carlson) on his estate in Georgia. Kimble works on the development of goober (peanut) products. Also living on the estate is Pruitt's new wife Dorina (actress Gloria Grahame). Pruitt is from an old distinguished planter family, while Dorina is the lower-class daughter of a backwoodsman.
Janice Pruitt (actress Shirley Knight), daughter of Allan and his deceased wife, has been away. She comes home and learns of her father's marriage, of which she disapproves. Janice had been at a sanitarium after a breakdown stemming from an incident involving a child being attacked by dogs. Janice is close to another breakdown as she keeps hearing the howling and barking of aggressive dogs.
There is a great deal of tension between Dorina and Janice, and Dorina rightly comes to believe Kimble is on Janice's side. Pruitt is torn between his devotion to his daughter and his wife. Kimble wants to help, but is endangered by the involvement of Sheriff Floyd Warren (actor Warren Vanders), who has long been interested in Janice, and whom Dorina manipulates to put pressure on Kimble. Floyd is there to arrest Kimble on false charges made by Dorina when Janice runs into the woods to save a small boy calling for help amidst the sound of barking dogs.
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