Directed by: Nicholas Ray
Starring: Burl Ives, Christopher Plummer, Chana Eden
I guess I’m just used to his modern films, but it was kinda… disconcerting to see a really young Christopher Plummer in this movie. I mean, since when are people younger than they are now? Is that a new thing? I’ve never heard of that.
Plummer plays an agent of the Audubon Society, which apparently back in old west times were like cops who stopped people who killed birds. Huh. Burl Ives is the crazy leader of a batch of moonshining hillbillies who live in the bayou and who also hunt birds for their feathers, as they are an integral part to women’s hat fashion at the time. Plummer and Ives develop a strange, kinda respectful rivalry, but nothing can escape the fact that the whole thing is about feather smuggling.
Seriously, what the fuck kind of conflict is that? Halfway through this movie I found myself surprised that it was still about bird poachers and one random guy who got assigned to the case as part of his criminal settlement. Who thought this was an interesting enough story to tell? I kept expecting them to make it more interesting by making the conflict personal to our main characters, which they kinda did, but it still never managed to escape the really stupid premise. Ah well.