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Time Out says
Set in Georgia in 1946 and dealing with the attempts of land-grabbers to dispossess a Negro smallholder, this is the sort of film in which the good guys are very, very good, the bad ones just plain horrid, and you recognise the hero because he gazes at his son, pauses for a count of three, and solemnly intones, 'A man's gotta do what his conscience says is right'. When Preminger makes a problem movie, he really piles on the agony: not just black-baiters and black-lovers, but a judge prejudiced to the point of imbecility, a conscienceful white minister serving his black brethren, a child traumatised after being tied up in his cot, and rampant sex all over the place. The Preminger flair which made The Cardinal so enjoyable, despite its hackneyed script, seems to have deserted him in this lumbering melodrama, put together with the sort of crudely opportunistic 'style' which alternates scenes of the rich folks parading in a stately mansion with shots of the poor sitting down to their humble fare while thumping mood music makes sure you get the point.