Tap Roots

  • 1948
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

TAP ROOTS is GONE WITH THE WIND with another cast and a good deal less success. The Civil War is brewing, and the Lebanon Valley of Mississippi is determined to remain neutral. Bond is the acknowledged leader of the area and appeals to other landowners who abhor slavery to secede from the state as an indication of their desire to remain out of the fracas....read more

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TAP ROOTS is GONE WITH THE WIND with another cast and a good deal less success. The Civil War is brewing, and the Lebanon Valley of Mississippi is determined to remain neutral. Bond is the acknowledged leader of the area and appeals to other landowners who abhor slavery to secede from

the state as an indication of their desire to remain out of the fracas. Bond and his Indian friend, Karloff, promise the fearful planters that they will strive to keep the Confederate Army away from their peaceful valley. Bond's family includes Hayward, an independent young woman cut from the same

cloth as Scarlett O'Hara, London, and son Long. Karloff and Bond's father, Simpson, carved a civilization out of the raw land and mean to keep it tranquil. Heflin is the local newspaper publisher who backs the cause of the neutrals with his pen and his dueling pistols. He has serious ambitions for

Hayward's hand, but she is affianced to Connor. When she has a horsebackriding accident and becomes partially paralyzed, the wedding plans are put on hold. This is just as well, because Connor has been dallying with her sister London on the sly. Connor and London run off to get married when Bond

finds Connor's embrace of slavery too much to take. Hayward remains paralyzed, and the doctor, Barnett, can't figure a way to cure her. Karloff, realizing that the white man's medicine often leaves much to be desired, calls upon the ancient methods of his ancestors and restores Hayward to full

mobility. The Lebanon Valley is now in accord and the residents mean to hold their ground against all comers. The Confederates send troups to straighten out these recalcitrants, and the unit is headed by Connor, who is now a major. Hayward hurls herself into his arms in a futile attempt to delay

his attack. A battle takes place, and Shields is killed almost immediately. Everyone pitches in to fight Connor's forces--even the women. When Bond is injured, and Long is killed, it looks as though there is no hope. Then Heflin comes face to face with Connor, and the ace duelist, of course,

prevails. Heflin saves Bond, taking him to a small cabin in the woods. Hayward arrives, and it is clear that she and Heflin will remain together for life. The Rebel forces have been driven from the valley by a ferocious counterattack and decide to leave the farmers alone rather than suffer any

further losses at the hands of fellow Southerners. TAP ROOTS was shot in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina to simulate Mississippi. Hayward had wanted to play the role Vivien Leigh eventually won and this was her chance. She handled it well. There is lots of steamy sex (as much

as they could get away with in those days) between Heflin and Hayward. After playing monsters (FRANKENSTEIN) and Asians (MR. WONG), Karloff was now expanding his career with roles as an Indian. He had played "Guyasuta," a Seneca chief, in the Gary Cooper-Paulette Goddard vehicle UNCONQUERED,

released the previous year.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: TAP ROOTS is GONE WITH THE WIND with another cast and a good deal less success. The Civil War is brewing, and the Lebanon Valley of Mississippi is determined to remain neutral. Bond is the acknowledged leader of the area and appeals to other landowners who… (more)

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