This is a bold, adult drama laying heavy stress on sex, a story of fleshy passions in the tidewater country of North Carolina.
Vidor belts over the blatantly sensual Arthur Fitz-Richard story. It’s a sordid type of drama, with neither Jennifer Jones nor Charlton Heston gaining any sympathy in their characters.
Story starts with the animal attraction between Jones, from the wrong side of the tracks, and Heston, purse-poor southern gent who willingly trifles in the swamp but for marriage chooses Phyllis Avery’s wealthy, properly-bred girl, so he can rebuild his family fortunes.
With a legal mating with Heston impossible, Jones turns to the friendship of Malden and his bedridden wife (Josephine Hutchinson). After the latter dies, she accepts Malden’s proposal and they are married. Society refuses to accept his bride.
Jones goes through much of the footage in skin-tight levis, of which she and careful camera angles and lighting make the most.