B&W, 82 min.
Released: December 29, 1952 (20th Century Fox)
Cast: Jennifer Jones (as Ruby Gentry), Charlton Heston, Karl Malden, Tom Tully, Bernard Phillips, Josephine Hutchinson.
Director: King Vidor
Producer: Joseph Bernhard, King Vidor
Tagline: "The story of Ruby Gentry, who wrecked a whole town -- man by man ...sin by sin"
Complete Credits at IMDB
Ruby Corey is a North Carolina backwoods girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She falls in love with Boake Tackman, a boy from a wealthy family in town. Boake, in order to resist pressure from his family, tells Ruby that will marry a society girl instead of her. Ruby is then proposed to by Jim Gentry, the town's richest man. Out of self pity, and to the town's chagrin, she accepts his proposal. When Jim is accidentally killed in a boating accident, the townspeople blame Ruby for his death. She takes revenge on all of them by demanding that they pay their outstanding debts to Jim in full. It is a decision that greatly affects Boake, who is starting a new business. Ruby tells Boake that she will cancel his loan but he humiliates her. Ruby, in turn, takes over Boake's land and orders the pumps that have been draining his land to be turned off. The land turns back into a swamp, where Ruby and Boake meet again for a deadly denouement.
Ruby Gentry came along at a good time in Jennifer's career. Her last five films had been box office failures. This film turned out to be a big success which increased her clout at the box office.
The film was directed by King Vidor (who had directed Duel In the Sun) and was one of Jones' best directors. Ruby Gentry was considered by many to be a poor man's Duel. It was, however, a taut production that employed minimal financing, was filmed in black and white and ran only 82 minutes. Nonetheless it is a highly entertaining film and is one that many remember Jennifer Jones for.
Interesting Tidbits - Joan Fontaine originally turned down the role because she was uncomfortable with a Southern accent but, it turned out that no one even used a Southern accent in the film anyway. The musical score was done with a single instrument, the harmonica and greatly attributed to the film's atmosphere. The theme "Ruby" was also a big hit.
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