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.
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 <email@example.com>
This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #1006. 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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Provocative and racy this hard to find film is loaded with infamy. If you started watching not knowing it was a pre-code it would only take a few minutes to realized it. Full of a wantonness and sense of depravity that wouldn't be seen in movies for decades after, this sin-fest features rape, murder and many other shocking events with a frank candor. Even the advertising for the film was lurid, just look at the poster to get an idea of how the film was sold. Many of the cast are rather ham handed in their portrayals, William Gargan in particular, but Miriam Hopkins lights up the screen with a vibrant sensuality and a compelling presence. A truly talented actress it's a shame that behind the scenes she was such a difficult and brazen up-stager that it irrevocably damaged her career and shortened her star period.
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