Malle is not normally noted for his toughness, but tackling racial prejudice head on results in one of his most compelling films. Dinh, a cheerful young Vietnamese, arrives in the Texan port to become an all-American fisherman. His reception varies from one sympathetic veteran ('good-looking women, dynamite drugs!') to the violent Shang (Harris), an embittered local with an ever-increasing family, a failing business, and a long-standing love affair with Glory (Madigan). While the conflict leads inexorably into the revival of the Ku Klux Klan, Glory's untameable obsession for Shang is cruelly tested by the surrounding tensions. Malle makes this splintering of interests a virtue by his casting of the wonderful Madigan, who adapts her forthright style (remember Streets of Fire?) to create one of the richest female characters in contemporary American cinema. She's teamed here with real-life husband Harris, and their scenes together really seethe. DT.
Cast and crew
Truyer V Tran