Stevens' sprawling epic of Texan life, taken from Edna Ferber's novel, strives so hard for Serious Statements that it ends up as a long yawn. Dealing with the two men who love Taylor - strait-laced cattle baron Hudson, and the less respectable rancher who strikes it rich with oil (Dean, a strange spectacle in himself as he turns grey) - the film attempts to conduct some sort of attack on rampant materialism, as well as offering an elegy for the times that have a-changed. But the pace is so plodding, and the general effect so stultifyingly unsubtle, that one is left impressed only by the fine landscape photography and Dean's surprisingly convincing portrayal of a middle-aged man. To see the overblown, soft-centred nature of the film, one need only compare it with Sirk's vitriolic account of Texan family life in 'Written on the Wind'.
Cast and crew