Year – 1958
Decade – 1950s
Cinematographer – Joseph LaShelle
Director – Martin Ritt
Genre – Drama; Romance
Distributor – 20th Century Fox
Aspect Ratio – 2.35
Lenses – Anamorphic
Format – 35mm; CinemaScope
Shooting location – Set in Mississippi but shot in Louisiana, with the town of Clinton standing in for Frenchman’s Bend
An aging small-town Mississippi tycoon (Orson Welles) attempts to pair up his spinster daughter (Joanne Woodward) with an ambitious, ethically flexible drifter (Paul Newman) from an infamous clan of barn burners.
Pieced together from a patchwork of William Faulkner stories, the film beat fellow steamy Southern melodrama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (which earned Newman his first of 10 Oscar nominations) to theaters by five months. Shot on location in Louisiana, the film marked the first screen pairing of Newman and Woodward, who married shortly after production wrapped. The movie also began a fruitful collaboration between Newman and director Martin Ritt, who went on to make Hombre and Hud together.