27 December 2017 | ma-cortes
Good drama written by William Faulkner with magnificent performance , story, and direction by Martin Ritt
Interesting and thought-provoking melodrama with marvelous acting from the entire cast , and outstanding Paul Newman as a stranger bringing with him a reputation for burning people's barns if they cross him . As Ben Quick (Paul Newman) , a young opportunist dirifter arrives in a little town and problems brewing . On the basis to get a job , Ben makes a strong impression on his landlord Will Varner (Orson Welles, he was 42 years old, but was cast as a 61 year old man due to his weight ) , the town bigwig and he meets his match in his sassy daughter Clara Varner (Joanne Woodward) . As Ben quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners , formed by father , Will Varner (Welles) and sons : Clara , Eula Varner (Lee Remick ) married to Jody (Anthony Franciosa) .
This tense and well performed adapatation is based on two short stories and part of a novel by Nobel winner William Faulkner , set in a small Mississippi town . The picture shot Paul Newmans as a man taken under a Southern patriarch's wing , his wife Joanne Woodward , and Lee Remick to stardom . Newman and his real-wife , Woodward , luckily carry the whole movie as the main roles . This is the first on-screen pairing of Newman and Woodward ; in fact , a month after production wrapped, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward got married in Las Vegas. In this movie there is betrayal , scheming, seduction, improbable luck , suspicion, vengeance , heroism, compassion, and redemption . The locations, the soundtrack by Alex North , cinematography by cameraman Joseph LaShelle and the dramatic moments as well as the love stories between characters deliver an attractive and interesting flick . When the drama emerges there takes place incident and passion , and there's plenty of both . Paul Newman gives a fine acting as an accused barn burner and con man . Joanne Woodward is first-class as the spinster daughter Clara and one of the best characters . Support cast is pretty nice . Anthony Franciosa is fine as Welles' wimpish son who schemes a relentless vendetta . Orson Welles provides a boisterous and top-notch acting as the tyrannical Mississippi ¨pater familias¨ on his larger-than-life role . Lee Remick is wonderful as his sweet-natured daughter ; besides , Angel Lansbury as Will's longtime mistress . Being remade for TV in 1986 by Stuart Cooper with Don Johnson , Cybill Shepard , Jason Robards and Judith Ivey .
The motion picture was well directed by Martin Ritt . The smash hit of the film helped Martin Ritt reestablish himself as a major director. Martin was one of the best and most sensitive American directors of all time, was a director, actor and playwright who worked in both film and theater. He was born in New York City. His films reflect, like almost none other, a profound and intimate humane vision of his roles . Ritt went on to direct 25 more films, including such classics as Black orchid (1958) , Hud (1963), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) , Hombre (1967) ,The Great White Hope (1970), Norma Rae (1979) and Murphy romance (1985). He was Blacklisted in the 1950s for his alleged support of causes deemed to be "Communist" by the House Un-American Activities Committee