Bill and Abby, a young couple who to the outside world pretend to be brother and sister are living and working in Chicago at the beginning of the century. They want to escape the poverty and hard labor of the city and travel south. Together with the girl Linda (who acts as the narrator in the movie) they find employment on a farm in the Texas panhandle. When the harvest is over the young, rich and handsome farmer invites them to stay because he has fallen in love with Abby. When Bill and Abby discover that the farmer is seriously ill and has only got a year left to live they decide that Abby will accept his wedding proposal in order to make some benefit out of the situation. When the expected death fails to come, jealousy and impatience are slowly setting in and accidents become eventually inevitable.Written by
Theo de Grood <email@example.com>
Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who got an "additional photography" credit in the film, complained to Roger Ebert that more than half of the footage was shot by him. See more »
Just after the opening of the film at the steel mill, we see a freight train going across a high trestle in silhouette, with the roofs of the cars perfectly empty, but immediately we get a closeup of the train's roofs, looking forward, and it has scores of migrant workers sitting and sprawled on the roofs of the cars. See more »
You know what I thought when I first saw you?
I thought, "If only I could touch her, then everything'd be all right".
I was afraid of never see you again.
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This is truly a unique movie: in a class by itself. I had that opinion the first time I saw it on VHS and still feel the same way years later. It's been at the top of my list of favorite movies since I began compiling a list over a decade ago.
It's very dream-like, surreal, a film I never get tired of watching and I've watched this film more than any other in my large collection. If I had to pin it down to two reasons why, it would be the video and the audio.
The cinematography alone makes this movie worth watching repeatedly. Now that we all have access to a widescreen DVD version of this, the scenes are even more breathtaking. (I never had the pleasure of seeing this in a movie theater.)
The same superlatives can be used when discussing the soundtrack, a haunting music score that gets better and better each time one views this film. In fact, lately it's the music more than anything else I miss when I go periods without viewing this film.
The story is a simple one and is explained by others here. No need to repeat it. I find the narration to be unique, an unusual insight into the characters of the film and the thoughts of the little girl (Linda Manz), who does the narrating. The characters that continually fascinate me are Brooke Adams, as the lead female, and Robert J. Wilke, as the farm foreman. I guess it's their faces that intrigue me. Adams' down-turned mouth and sad look and Wilke's wrinklies catch my attention every time.
The story is interesting, generally low-key but with a few quick violent scenes that are quite memorable. More than that, one gets an incredible feel for the land and for the migrant workers of that time period. Another nice aspect of this film is the very small amount of profanity. Kids probably would be bored with this film but at least I wouldn't be afraid to show it to them.
But as many pluses as the story boasts, that haunting music and those incredible visuals are what drive me back for more. Great, great stuff.
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