“And you’ll stay, and you’ll stay — because of all you give me.”
In Depression-era Mississippi, a gangly teen (Mary Badham) relates the story of her older sister (Natalie Wood), who fell tragically in love with a new lodger (Robert Redford) in the boarding house owned by their self-serving mother (Kate Reid).
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Charles Bronson Films
- Deep South
- Depression Era
- Flashback Films
- Natalie Wood Films
- Robert Redford Films
- Sydney Pollack Films
- Tennessee Williams Films
Inspired by a one-act play by Tennessee Williams, this Technicolor soaper — directed by Sydney Pollack, with screenplay input from Francis Ford Coppola — is referred to by several reviewers as a distillation of Williams’ classic themes all rolled into one less-than-satisfying tale. While Wood gives a heartfelt performance:
… and Reid is effectively witchy as her brutally mercenary mother:
… bland Redford and awkward Badham (clearly recreating some version of her most famous role as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird) fare less well, and both Charles Bronson and Robert Blake get short shrift as would-be lovers of Wood.
In its favor, the film is beautifully photographed by James Wong Howe.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:
- Natalie Wood as Alva
- Kate Reid as Hazel
- James Wong Howe’s cinematography
No, unless you’re a Wood fan.