28 August 2012 | tavm
I liked Hurry Sundown despite the unevenness of the story and characters
I first knew about this film when I read about it in the book, "The Fifty Worst Films of All Time" and I also found out about its location shooting in my current hometown of Baton Rouge, La., either there or elsewhere. I also read that the locals there treated the cast and crew hostilely which makes me glad that my family didn't even move there until 1975 when I was about 7 and being just a kid, I usually got away with getting occasionally angry whenever other children my age called me "Chinese" (I'm actually of Filipino descent). About the movie itself, well, the first 30 minutes seemed all right dramatically-wise with the setting up of characters before Beah Richards' over-the-top heart attack turned the picture into close of an overheated soap opera worthy of "Dallas"-of which George Kennedy, who's a hoot as the sheriff with a penchant for liking the "coloreds", would join the cast of in the late '80s-especially whenever that mentally-challenged kid of Michael Caine and Jane Fonda was constantly crying. Caine had just become a star with Alfie while Ms. Fonda would become a sex symbol with Barbarella though maybe this film also contributed to her status when she played hubby Caine's sax. Another notable appearance was that of Faye Dunaway in an early role just before she became a star in Bonnie and Clyde. Burgess Meredith chews plenty of scenery as a bigoted judge especially when sharing some of that with Jim Backus as one of the attorneys in a court scene. By the way, Backus wasn't the only Sherwood Schwartz series regular-from "Gilligan's Island"-in that sequence as future star of "The Brady Bunch"-Robert Reed-would be his opposite here. And then there's Diahann Carroll who would later star in her own groundbreaking series the following year called "Julia". Okay, with that out of the way, I'll just say that I thought the drama was entertaining but I also knew that it's not for all tastes and leave it at that. So on that note, I recommend Hurry Sundown. P.S. On Wikipedia, I just found out that Preminger picked BR on the recommendation of production designer Gene Callahan who lived and eventually died there.