Janet Leigh makes an impressive debut alongside Van Johnson in this historical romance in which a farmer's daughter falls in love with a man who fought against her family in the Civil War. ...
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Carl Benton Reid
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Janet Leigh makes an impressive debut alongside Van Johnson in this historical romance in which a farmer's daughter falls in love with a man who fought against her family in the Civil War. Into a Missouri farming community living in a state of constant tension due to conflicting pro-North and pro-South sentiments ambles ex-Union soldier Henry Carson (Van Johnson), who briefly camps out at the farm of unforgiving Confederate sympathizer Gill MacBean (Thomas Mitchell). Suspecting that Carson is up to no good, MacBean is outraged when the handsome stranger begins courting MacBean's daughter Lissy Anne (Leigh). Things come to a head dramatically when the heretofore easygoing Carson comes face to face with a band of hooded, night-riding barn burners who've been fomenting discord among the farmers.
I loved the emphasis on community values in this film. The ideas that the main character pulls for are not a whit outdated and can certainly be applied to today's society. It seems that in life, as in this film, there is always an element who tries to pull apart the community spirit for their own ends. These ideas are presented here in a completely engaging manner and are there for all to see as simple common sense. Kudos to Thomas Mitchell for another grand performance. Too bad this is another forgotten film which should be resurrected for its ideas which are strangely hip and contemporary. And Janet Leigh does a wonderful job, as does the actress who plays her mother.
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