Heart o' the Hills
- 1h 27m
Family tensions in the Kentucky hills are inflamed by an outsider's dishonest scheme to exploit the area for its coal.Family tensions in the Kentucky hills are inflamed by an outsider's dishonest scheme to exploit the area for its coal.Family tensions in the Kentucky hills are inflamed by an outsider's dishonest scheme to exploit the area for its coal.
The story has Pickford's character Mavis battling for survival in the Kentucky hills, seeking to avenge her father's murder even as she contends with outsiders who want to exploit the region's coal. There are several complicating factors, so that the scenario builds up a web of problems for Pickford and the other sympathetic characters to contend with. Among the secondary characters is a very young-looking John Gilbert, who is interesting to watch even though his role is not especially substantial.
Besides the relative lack of comedy, Pickford's character is unusually desperate. There is also a rather unsettling sequence with a vigilante confrontation that evokes some real anxiety, and a courtroom scene that anticipates one of the well-known scenes from "Spartacus". The story packs a lot of drama and tension into an hour and a quarter.
The cinematography helps considerably in making the story work. Despite the limitations of the era (and the damage done to the print over time), it makes you feel as if you really were in the Kentucky hills, with many outdoor shots that work very well, and many details that make the setting and story more believable. Pickford's own performance and screen presence are, of course, a plus to any movie. Amongst her features of the era, this one is good rather than excellent, but it's certainly worth seeing.
- Snow Leopard
- Nov 28, 2005