Two kids are sitting at a railway station. In flashback, Badham relates to her companion the sordid tale of her much admired, deceased sister. In a Depression-ravaged town in rural Mississippi, Reid runs a boarding house. Her daughter, Wood, is a beautiful young girl madly in love with Redford, a stranger from New Orleans staying at the house. He’s in town to lay off some railroad workers but is beaten up by five of them. He plans to leave town after this and take Wood with him. However, Reid fools Redford into thinking that Wood is engaged to Harding, a wealthy middle-aged man Reid would prefer her daughter marry, and Redford leaves without the girl. When she hears why he left, she gets drunk and marries Bronson, her mother’s violent, mean lover, out of spite. —TVguide.com
Sydney Pollack was born to first generation Russian-Jewish Americans on July 1, 1934. After graduating from his Indiana high school, he went to New York and became a student at the Neighborhood Playhouse, a celebrated Greenwich Village school, where he studied under Sanford Meisner. He served two years in the army before returning to the Neighborhood Playhouse in 1958 as a teacher, and began appearing as an actor in live television dramas. His appearance in a John Frankenheimer-directed television production led him to a job as dialogue coach in the filmmaker’s 1961 crime drama The Young Savages. He quickly moved into television, directing on programs such as “The Defenders,” “The Naked City,” “The Fugitive,” “Dr. Kildare,” and “Ben Casey” during the early and mid 1960s, and in 1965 made his feature film debut in the director’s chair with The Slender Thread.
Pollack established himself as a competent, if unexceptional, director in such works as This Property Is Condemned, and… read more
This was the first collaboration between Pollack and Redford, and the beginning of a friendship for life. The story is pretty simple, but the movie is still worth seeing. For Natalie Wood too.
I'm a huge Natalie Wood fan. Absolutely loved her when I was a kid, and she RULES this film. She had such presence. I wept at the end of this - it was so unfair that she was dead (I was too young to understand what was transpiring on the screen.) Subsequent viewings over the years have answered the many uncomfortable questions I would bug my parents with. It was a common occurrence that drove my parents nuts.