A wealthy but neurotic Southern belle finds herself trapped in the hideout of a gang of vicious bootleggers. The gang's leader lusts after her, and is determined not to let anything stand in the way of his having her.
After accidentally killing the man who raped her and forced her into prostitution, a New Orleans woman flees to a Caribbean island. While she awaits her fiancé, the vicious local police chief sets his sights on her.
William A. Wellman
Temple Drake is a Southern belle who leads men on with her sexuality but usually leaves them wanting. She's loved by lawyer Stephen Benbow, whom she likes but doesn't love. While out carousing with one of her beaux, she finds herself stranded with a gang of bootleggers, one of whom, Trigger, rapes her and makes her his sex slave. When another man is accused of a murder Trigger committed, Stephen defends him and sets out to find Trigger. But he isn't prepared for whom he finds with Trigger, or what she's become.Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Paramount originally assigned George Raft to play Trigger, but he refused the part. Raft said playing such a revolting character would ruin his reputation and finish his career. The very public dispute nearly did end his contract, but Paramount relented and gave the part to Jack La Rue. See more »
As Temple is giving her testimony she pauses when a voice from off-screen says "and then?" to get her to keep her story going. However, it is not the voice of the defense attorney (Stephen Benbow) who would be the only one who could speak to her at the time. Probably a late edit/dub. See more »
Put your right hand on the Bible please. Do you solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
So help me God.
See more »
Interesting adaptation of Faulkner story with strong legal subplot
Temple Drake is a well brought up Southern woman who has a strong wild and crazy streak. She refuses marriage proposals from Steven Benbow, a dedicated and ethical young lawyer, because she knows she isn't ready to settle down. She is, in fact, a notorious sexual tease. Soon she's being held by a group of bootleggers and is raped by a hood named Trigger. Temple's wild streak takes over and she decides to stay with Trigger, perhaps working as a prostitute. Pretty heady stuff for the 1930's!
I particularly liked the character of Benbow who willingly takes all of the pro bono criminal cases assigned to him by the judge (Temple's haughty father) and handles even the hopeless ones with great dedication. In the courtroom scene that ends this film, Benbow's skill and ethics are put to the test.
There is an extensive discussion and analysis of "Temple Drake" in Thomas Doherty, "Pre-Code Hollywood" (1999) at 114-17. The story of the film's struggle with the censors (both in Hollywood and in the states) is told in Thomas Vieira, "Sin in Soft Focus" (1999) 149-50; stills from the film appear at 158-59.
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