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kevin123 writes:

This is an excellent film which I caught accidentally on a rainy afternoon on cable. A professor and his wife head to the appalachians for his 1-year sabbatical. They rent a house from Will Cade (Anthony Quinn), an overly-friendly, hospitable country bumpkin. Will from the very beginning makes comments about how pretty the professor's wife is, and that's just the beginning. While the absent-minded professor is lost in his own world, concerned about his career and completing his book, Will Cade seems to just have too much time on his hands and spends it making the professor's wife more familiar with the wonders of Appalachia. He brings her flowers from the countryside, buys her animals to keep her company, takes her to see the beautiful scenery. None of these are overt passes, but they all could be interpreted either way, which is part of the genius of the film: on the one hand, Will Cade really is doing a lot of things for this woman and anyone would be touched by them; he is extremely sincere. But on the other, there is something about him which makes you uncomfortable, maybe his over-familiarity with people he doesn't know. In this way, it's similar to Cape Fear since it indirectly says a lot about social class--the professor is overly intellectual, but passionless and emotionally handicapped, unable to think of others besides himself; while the country bumpkin is not wordly, but very genuine and giving. There are two other subplots involved a daughter of the professor and his wife, and the Will Cade's son, with whom he has conflicts which are never fully explained. Eventually, the woman gives in and kisses Cade, and I won't give away the rest of the story. But the mood of the film is very well set. There is a great scene at an appalachian country fair where Will is in rare form and the professor is clearly uncomfortable in this "culture" which he doesn't consider a "culture". The whole story is set in this haunting, appalachian environment, which is how it is similar to "Deliverance". There is that fantasy which urban dwellers have of the simple, personal country life, and then there's the in-breeding, backwardness, and so-on they are repulsed by. I highly recommend this film


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