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.
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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 »
After Trigger decides that Temple will stay at the backwoods house, Ruby can be seen sitting at the table saying something (lips moving) but no words are heard. See more »
[to Temple Drake]
Now you're satisfied. You got 'em all fightin' over ya. You nice women. I know your kind. You get a kick out of playin' with kids. Burnin' their gas. Eatin' their food. Spendin' their money. And whatdya give em? Always got away with it before, ain't ya? And now you're scared. 'Cause these ain't kids, they're men. If one of em laid a finger on ya, you'd faint.
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Stephen Benbow (William Gargan) is an idealistic defense lawyer who is in love with Temple Drake (Miriam Hopkins). She is a southern belle wild child and a tease. Her granddad Judge wants her to go with Stephen but she can't seem to marry the straight laced Stephen. She leaves a party with the drunken Toddy who crashes the car. They're taken by bootleggers. Soon she's in fear of the lowlife criminals and the drunken Toddy is useless. She is raped by the well dressed killer Trigger (Jack La Rue). He kidnaps her as his kept woman. Stephen investigates Trigger for a murder and finds Temple. She pretends to be Trigger's woman to send Stephen off.
The controversial salacious content is pre-code. There is some violence and a lot of suggested sexuality. It's actually effective as a noir style movie. The surprising thing is that it's still very watchable. The acting isn't always the best. William Gargan is a bit stiff. Miriam Hopkins is playing it very melodramatically as is usually the case of this era. It works in this melodrama. Jack La Rue is great as the quietly threatening villain.
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