Beaird's adaptation of his own play begins with a folksy five-minute monologue exhorting us to believe what we feel, not what we are told. It is set in Bayou country, where accents are thick as molasses and the nights fair palpitate with desire. Lloyd is Splendid, a Louisiana belle terrified by the prospect of losing her virginity. It's her wedding night. As the groom reaches the end of his tether, it falls to Jumper (Crooke) to philosophise his daughter out from under the bed. Meanwhile, at the town bar, alcoholic has-been actor Howler (Elliott) debates sex and the classics with barkeep Bear (Jones) and prostitute Thais (Dunaway), until irate bridesmaid Talbot (Tilly) storms the joint with a bellyful of sexual resentment and a revolver. Saddled with a derivative script that apes Tennessee Williams none too successfully - a perilous mixture of ribald humour and high-flown poeticism - the cast revert to type: Jones growls, Elliott snivels, Dunaway smokes, and Lloyd tries ever so hard, bless her. A hopelessly theatrical film from what must have been a poor play.
Cast and crew
James Earl Jones