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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Claudelle Inglish (1961)

The shy young daughter (Diane McBain) of a Georgia sharecropper (Arthur Kennedy) becomes engaged to a young farm boy (Chad Everett) about to go into the Army. But when she receives a letter that he is marrying someone else, she becomes promiscuous and turns into the town tramp. Based on the Erskine Caldwell (GOD'S LITTLE ACRE) novel, the movie has a generic director Gordon Douglas who hasn't the style to pull something like this off. What it needs is some of the overheated kick of late 1940s King Vidor. Although Caldwell's book was written in 1958, it still has that old musty outlook that deems a woman must pay heavily for becoming a slut. In a rare starring role, Diane McBain (inheriting the role after Carroll Baker and Anne Francis passed) has an opportunity to display some acting chops instead of leaning on her glacial beauty and she's very good. The imitation Max Steiner score is by Howard Jackson and Howard Shoup's plain costumes were inexplicably nominated for a best costume Oscar. With Constance Ford, very good as McBain's unhappily married mother and Will Hutchins, Frank Overton, Claude Akins, Robert Logan and Hope Summers.   

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