In North Carolina during the Great Depression, widower Wayland Jackson (Kurt Russell) moves to a small mountain town with his daughter. He meets Collie Wright (Kelly McGillis), a young woman with an illegitimate child, and soon finds himself in the middle of a deadly hillbilly feud when the baby’s father, the son of a rival clan boss, wants the child for himself. Screenwriter Carol Sobieski adapted the novel by John Ehle.
Born in Toronto, Canada, Ted Kotcheff graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. He began his professional career directing TV drama at age 24 at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, at the time becoming the youngest director in the CBC. After two years there he went to live and work in England, directing in television and the theatre.
He twice won the British Emmy for Best Director, the second time for an extraordinary docudrama about a female derelict entitled, “Edna, the Inebriate Woman” episode of “Play for Today” (1970). The film also won the Best Actress and Best Script Award. Kotcheff’s television work in Great Britain was part of the new wave of working-class actors and drama that changed British theatre and television in the late 1950s. His stage successes include the long-running Lionel Bart musical, “Maggie May.” His film career started in England: Tiara Tahiti (1962), a social comedy starring James Mason and John Mills; Life at… read more