It's difficult to concisely describe the plot of Hurry Sundown; it's a film about the racial divide, family squabbles, class distinction, and corporate takeover of land. Among the subplots are marital difficulties, Southern life, parenthood, a developmentally challenged child, questionable honor of the legal system, and coming-of-age dilemmas.
Michael Caine is married to Jane Fonda, and while they're a well-to-do Southern couple on the outside, beneath the surface lies infidelity and parenting issues. Michael's poor cousin, John Phillip Law, is married to Faye Dunaway, and he also has trouble with his children. Robert Hooks and his mother Beah Richards live on land that used to belong to Jane's family, back when they owned slaves. As a gift, they gave the land to Beah, but when Michael Caine's company wants to build on it, racial tensions lead to unforeseen consequences that affect all three families.
Even though I have a soft spot in my heart for Michael Caine and refuse to ever really see him as a bad guy, he's known for his meaner roles. In Hurry Sundown, he's just about as mean as it gets. He gives a fantastically chilling performance, and his Southern accent is nearly flawless. Faye Dunaway also stands out in her smaller role, since it's unlike the cold, calculating, classy roles she usually takes. Be on the lookout for Diahann Carroll, Burgess Meredith, and George Kennedy as the adorable but incompetent sheriff.
This is a very well-acted film that fits in with other hot-blooded films of its time, like In the Heat of the Night and The Long, Hot Summer. It's one of the steamiest films made in the 1960s, and it sheds light on a number of important issues. Director Otto Preminger, king of films that push the envelope, creates another masterpiece that makes you feel like you need a good scrubbing after watching it.
Kiddy Warning: Obviously, you have control over your own children. However, due to racial language, sexual situations, and violence involving children, I wouldn't let my kids watch it.
Following World War II, a northern cannery combine negotiates for the purchase of a large tract of uncultivated Georgia farmland. The major portion of the land is owned by Julie Ann Warren and has already been optioned by her unscrupulous, draft dodging husband, Henry. Now the combine must also obtain two smaller plots, one owned by Henry's cousin Rad McDowell, a combat veteran with a wife and family. The other by Reeve Scott, a young black man whose mother had been Julie's childhood Mammy. But neither Rad nor Reeve is interested in selling, and they form an unprecedented black and white partnership to improve their land. Although infuriated by the turn of events, Henry remains determined to push through the big land deal, and when Reeve's mother Rose dies, Henry tries to persuade his wife to charge Reeve with illegal ownership of his property, confident the bigoted Judge Purcell will rule against a Negro.
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June 01, 2016 at 10:48 PM