“Them Yankees like the tickle of them feathers — and we like the tickle of their money!”
In turn-of-the-century Florida, an idealistic new Audubon warden (Christopher Plummer) tries to arrest a legendary bird poacher known as “Cottonmouth” (Burl Ives), who lives deep in the Everglades with his band of unruly henchmen.
This unusual adventure tale deals with an ethical dilemma not often discussed in Hollywood films: turn-of-the-century feather poaching in Florida (!). Despite its ecological underpinnings, however, Everglades is essentially a tale of archetypal opposites, with Plummer’s young (urban) protagonist bumping up against Burl Ives’ indomitable force of nature, and both men grudgingly earning each other’s respect. Ultimately, there’s not quite enough going on here to bolster a full-fledged narrative (countless subplots — including a love affair between Plummer and Chana Eden, and some hillbilly antics by Ives’ crew — seem haphazardly thrown in), but Ives and Plummer make for compelling enough enemies to hold our attention throughout. Watch for Peter Falk in his screen debut.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Burl Ives as “Cottonmouth”
- Christopher Plummer as Murdock
- The unusual Floridian setting
No, but it’s worth a look if you can find a copy.