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Hurry Sundown ()

directed by
featuring Michael Caine, Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Diahann Carroll, Faye Dunaway, Robert Hooks

Otto Preminger directed this star-studded adaptation of K.B. Gliden's novel about racial prejudice and emotional unrest in the Deep South. Henry Warren (Michael Caine) is a land owner obsessed with buying up all available land in a Georgia farming town. However, two parcels of land have escaped his reach, and he's determined to get them. The Scotts, an African-American family, own one of the lots that Henry is after; the matriarch of the family, Rose (Beah Richards), used to work as a servant for the family of Henry's wife, Julie Ann (Jane Fonda), so Henry sends Julie Ann to talk with her. However, not only doesn't Rose agree to sell, she gets so upset that she dies of a heart attack, and soon her headstrong son Reeve (Robert Hooks) is the owner of the land. Reeve refuses all of Henry's offers to sell out, and he even stands up to a racist lynch mob that tries to ransack his farm; when Henry attempts to prove that Reeve holds no legal deed to the property, Vivian Thurlow (Diahann Carroll), the town's black schoolmarm, is able to provide the documentation that the Scotts do indeed own their land. Meanwhile, Henry is also trying to buy some property farmed by Rod McDowell (John Phillip Law) and his wife Lou (Faye Dunnaway), a poor white couple who are Henry's cousins. The McDowell farm adjoins that owned by the Scotts, so Reeve and Rod agree to join forces against Henry, which leads to violent reprisals against them. While set in Georgia, Hurry Sundown was actually shot on location in Louisiana; it was the first film shot in the South with an integrated cast and crew, leading the producers to demand protection from State Troopers after members of the company received death threats. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi Hide synopsis

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