Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. USA, 1964. Allied Artists Pictures, Leon Fromkess-Sam Firks Productions, F&F Productions. Screenplay by Samuel Fuller. Cinematography by Stanley Cortez. Produced by Samuel Fuller. Music by Paul Dunlap. Production Design by Eugène Lourié. Costume Design by Einar Bourman. Film Editing by Jerome Thoms.
Constance Towers, so brillant in Samuel Fuller’s previous film Shock Corridor, gets the spotlight in this excellent drama. She plays a prostitute who escapes her abusive pimp and moves to a clean, small town where she hopes to start afresh. Despite the local law enforcer knowing her past, she manages to get a good job in a hospital and charm the locals, even inspiring passion from the town’s richest resident who falls madly in love with her. Her past never stays too far behind, though, and she ends up discovering more moral corruption in this idyllic environment than she ever had in the gritty underworld of the big city, but nothing turns out the way you expect it to in this superb film. It’s a brilliant example of early independent filmmaking, as well as being a high quality film with terrific direction, beautiful cinematography and a sterling script that defies all conventions. Towers is wonderful, and the supporting cast is top notch as well.