Parrish is a long, plodding account of man vs monopoly in Connecticut's tobacco game.
Parrish is a long, plodding account of man vs monopoly in Connecticut’s tobacco game.
Based on the novel by Mildred Savage, director Delmer Daves’ screenplay is something of a cross between a rich man’s Tobacco Road and a poor man’s A Place in the Sun. Troy Donahue essays the title role of a poor young man who emerges from a laborer’s toil in the Connecticut tobacco fields to challenge the dynasty of mighty land baron Karl Malden.
A number of romantic entanglements crop up to complicate this basic conflict, not the least of which are Donahue’s bat-of-an-eyelash love affairs with Malden’s daughter (Sharon Hugueny), his arch rival’s (Dean Jagger’s) daughter (Diane McBain) and a loose field girl (Connie Stevens) who gives illegitimate birth to the child of Malden’s son (Hampton Fancher). Then there is the supreme complication: Malden’s marriage to Donahue’s mother (Claudette Colbert).
Donahue is handsome and has his moments, but lacks the animation and projection that is required to bring the title character, curiously vacant and elusive as written, into clearer focus. The picture’s three principal veterans – Colbert, Malden and Jagger – do well, particularly Malden in spite of the exaggerated nature of his role.