This lavish historical drama features Harrison as an Irish rascal and inveterate gambler who uses his considerable skills at the gaming tables of New Orleans to become fabulously rich, beating landowner Haas in a head-to-head card game and winning a vast estate. Harrison is aided by
river pirate McLaglen, who picked him up on a sandbar after the Irishman was marooned there by a riverboat captain who was convinced that Harrison was a card cheat. Quickly climbing the social ladder, Harrison wins the heart of southern belle O'Hara, and the two are married. But when McLaglen and
his pirate crew show up on their wedding night, a private war begins between Harrison and O'Hara that lasts for three years, their son being the only real bond between them. With Harrison away, O'Hara attempts to run their great plantation, Harrow, but she is ineffective. Just as weather threatens
to ruin the crops and the field hands shrink from O'Hara, who vainly orders them to bring in the harvest, Harrison appears, saves the day, and reunites with the woman he loves.
The Yerby best-seller, a historical soap opera like Gone with the Wind, is raised above the mediocre by an expensive production and Harrison's magnificent portrayal of the maverick landowner. O'Hara is attractively tempestuous and McLaglen is a grinning, scheming brute with a loyal heart. Haydn is
excellent as Harrison's new-found New Orleans friend, a fun-loving dandy. Kudos go to Lockhart as O'Hara's generous father and Medina as a sultry lady of the evening. Stahl's direction is imaginative, and La Shelle's lensing is moody and excitingly fluid.
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