This is Ray’s most poetic film. Plot is dead. Characters thrive, interact and the camera has the humility to let the audience to share a sense of their itinerant lifestyle. If it ever gets the audience it deserves, it will be praised as an “independent” film(and it was completely improvised along the way by Ray and Mitchum) avant-la-lettre. It has the look and feel of low-budget films but Ray and Lee Garmes bring a visual beauty and sharpness that is exciting to watch.
Robert Mitchum, Susan Hayward and Arthur Kennedy form a triangle but their relationship and the community in which they live is slowly threatened as the film rolls along by their own insecurity. It’s about a triangle splitting up and each individual yearning for their escape. Of course, we’re all trapped and we can’t go home again.