Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
I really enjoyed reading Erskine Caldwell's TOBACCO ROAD, and I was
certainly glad when American Movie Classics finally offered the rarely
televised film "Tobacco Road" for several months. I don't understand why
this classic by famed director John Ford has never been available on VHS
The film is based on the long-running Broadway stage production of "Tobacco Road" which was based on Caldwell's book, but still the essence of the book is mostly there, in my opinion. (I've read that Erskine Caldwell liked the stage production but not the film version of his famous novel, however.)
With perhaps a bit more satire, but less bawdiness and tragedy than the book, the film depicts the plight of the dirt-poor Lester family around the time of the Great Depression. Jeeter Lester's father and grandfather before him had prospered on the once rich Georgia farmland, but the land became fallow, leaving the family to scrape for food (like raw turnips) and with little hope of escaping "the poor farm."
Despite the appearances of Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Ward Bond, Charles Grapewin (as Jeeter Lester) is the star of "Tobacco Road." As many times as I've enjoyed watching "Tobacco Road," I'd still like to see a remake, even a televised mini-series, that more closely follows the original storyline and presents the characters as they truly are: grotesque, risque, and pathetic.
"In Country" is a film that, to me, gets better with each viewing. Bruce Willis' portrayal of Emmett, a troubled Vietnam veteran, seemed right on; and if he's done any better pure acting, I'm not aware of it. I strongly disagree with a couple of the negative comments on Emily Lloyd's performance in the film. I thought she was quite outstanding as Emmett's inquisitive niece, Samantha, who was searching for answers about her father who had died in Vietnam. As for why monotonic Winona Ryder wasn't selected for the role of Samantha (as mentioned in a prior comment) now that WOULD have been a drab, annoying performance as far as I'm concerned. There were also fine supporting performances from Joan Allen, Kevin Anderson, etc.