In this small-town America melodrama, Mitchum plays the coolly licentious head of a Texan family, Parker his frigid wife. Both vie for the allegiance of their son (Hamilton), coming to terms with his patriarchal inheritance until he discovers the existence of an illegitimate half-brother (Peppard). Then all hell breaks loose as the sins of the father are visited on the son. Minnelli's intelligent use of scope, colour and all the technical resources Metro could offer would make it watchable enough. His ability to present the network of relationships between his quartet of characters so that all four are presented in a sympathetic light, and particularly his portrayal of the central oedipal psychodrama (Hamilton is excellent), make it explosive viewing.