Detective James Lee Wong is on the scene as archaeologist Dr. John Benton, recently returned from an expedition in China where a valuable ancient scroll was recovered, is murdered while giving a lecture on the expedition.
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.
Jack La Rue
William Faulkner's Deep South drama of tragedy and expose of a "proper" community riddled with moral decay to the household of a governor of Mississippi during the 1920's. The governor's cherished and properly married daughter makes an astonishing confession to the governor just before the execution of a household servant for the murder of the daughter's baby.Written by
Governor's daughter misbehavin' and getting stuck with bootleggers
I never liked William Faulkner, and I never liked Lee Remick, since I always saw her in the same kind of roles, as sinful victims. This film made me completely change my mind about both.
Not that the major credit is to either of them, but the real character here is Odetta as Nancy, the one person who takes responsibility and stands up to things and does something about it, actually interfering with destiny, at a full price which she pays willingly with heroic stoicism. Every scene in which she appears comes alive with a secret life of intensity, as if this presence of fate hanging in the air was self-evidently in her control. The most interesting scene is therefore when she (with the other fallen ladies) interprets the cards telling their fortunes.
It's a tawdry story, many scenes are downright disgusting, but Tony Richardson's direction is impressing as usual, and Yves Montand is the second best to Odetta. Another triumph is the very skilfully contrived music by Alex North. There is a wonderful scene in the dirty bar with all the wenches as they wallow in dancing Charleston. This is a story of the 20s with bootlegging as the chief subject of the plot. I can't help it, but I enjoyed it - and will remember Odetta for this forever.
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