Font Size

RUBY GENTRY (1952) King Vidor. This film hits all the right notes and never falters. Jennifer Jones stars as Ruby, a  girl raised as a boy. She’s from the wrong side of the tracks. Charlton Heston is the man she’s in love with. He’s into her but not enough to over ride selling out for what he sees as a successful future. I was surprised by how truthfully Heston played him as it is clear from the first moment we see him that while he wants Ruby he does not want her enough.

Karl Malden is the man she marries after his long ill wife dies. It’s a union the wife would have approved of but not the good folk in the town where swamp trash Ruby has been raised. The good folk skip the wedding party.

When Malden’s character dies in an accident on the water the good folk accuse Ruby of murder in a nightmare sequence that pretty much encapsulates hypocrisy at its worst. Ruby, however, finds out that she has the upper hand when the details of the will are read. She exacts a revenge which winds up costing her more than life itself.

Throughout I was impressed by the film’s use of music to underscore the action. The song, RUBY, became, thanks to Les Baxter a hit.

I grew up in a small town. My mother was from “the wrong side of the tracks.” I’ve been dealing with the sort of folk who despise her all my life. Said David Beard in 1980 in THE TORONTO STAR, “Reg Hartt is overworked, under-financed and snubbed…We should be paying tribute to him.”

That will be the day.– Reg Hartt 2018–04–15.


« »