One Desire
R2 - United Kingdom - Simply Media
Review written by and copyright: Matthew Crossman (3rd July 2016).
The Film

Tacey Cromwell (Anne Baxter) is the part owner of a gambling house. Her lover is Clint Saunders (Rock Hudson) a dealer at the casino and rugged ladies man. When Clint's young brother, Nugget (Barry Curtis), unexpectedly turns up at the casino Clint takes the opportunity to change his fortunes by moving to Colorado where, according to someone he knows, there has been a large strike in the silver mining community. Tacey agrees to go with Clint and together they travel to Colorado. Upon arrival Clint spies a beautiful woman who introduces herself as Judith Watrous (Julie Adams) the local Senator's daughter. Judith recommends a hotel for Clint, Tacey and Nugget but it appears that Clint has caught her eye. Soon after arriving in town Clint and Tacey rent a house where they meet Seely (Natalie Wood). Seely is a young girl who has no Mother and whose Father works in the silver mines. Seely is a tearaway and is left to her own devices for most of the day whilst her Father works. Clint goes into town and in the bank he meets Judith again. The bank is having renovations and are short handed. Judith introduces Clint to the bank manager and Clint, having had experience with money at the casino, proves his expertise with cash and is offered a job at the bank. Clint and Tacey's dream is to be respectable people and Clint takes the job. Shortly after there is a cave in at the mine and Seely's Father is killed. Tacey and Clint take Seely into their home and it's not long before Seely is settled in this rather unusual family. Judith however has designs on the affections of Clint and persuades her Father to take Clint along on a business meeting. Whilst Clint and her Father are away Judith receives a report from a private detective agency detailing Tacey's background. Judith uses this information and supplies it to the judge of the town who calls a hearing and, because of the scandalous nature of Tacey's previous employment, takes the two children into court custody. Judith then offers to house the children at her Father's house, cementing her place into Clint's life even more, much to the distress of Tacey. The judge tells Tacey that although she may have changed her ways she cannot erase her past. Tacey takes this to heart and decides to leave Clint whilst he is out of town and return to her previous life. Upon his return Clint is devastated to find that Tacey has left and does all he can to track her down. However, Mac (William Hopper), the other part owner of the casino that Tacey has returned to, lies to Clint and tells him that Tacey has not gone back to the casino. Despondent, Clint gives up leaving the door wide open for Judith to walk through and into his life.

Despite starring Rock Hudson this is most definitely Anne Baxter's film who is superb as Tacey Cromwell. Baxter displays the full range of emotions here and is often funny and witty as well as being put through the emotional mill. Her scenes with the children especially are very touching and how she takes care of Seely, very well played by a young Natalie Wood, after her Father's death is very moving and will have many reaching for the hankies. Rock Hudson as Clint is...Well, Rock Hudson. Square of jaw and shoulders he oozes charm throughout and at times a little bit too much charm which puts the audiences sympathies squarely with Tacey. Julie Adams is also on top form as the scheming Judith. She is as spoilt and as rotten to the core as she is beautiful and every time she appears on screen I almost expect to hear hisses from the balcony seats. Billed as a 'Wild West tale' fans of the western genre will be extremely disappointed as this is a heart breaking weepy of the highest order and a pretty decent film to boot.

Video

This DVD presents the film in it's original aspect ratio of 2.00:1 (anamorphic). The picture is a little soft and colours could have been brighter but overall it's not too bad for a film that hit the screens in 1955. There is light grain prevalent through out the film's running length but nothing too distracting. Overall it's a passable transfer with the usual defects one would expect from a film of this age.

Audio

The audio soundtrack is presented in Dolby Digital dual mono. The sweeping score by Frank Skinner (and Henry Mancini, who is uncredited) is displayed well and despite obviously being centred does not lose any of it's majestic grandeur. It's a score you could easily find yourself humming long after the film has finished. There are no subtitles available on this disc.

Extras

There are no extras on this DVD.

Overall

I settled in to “One Desire” expecting a straight forward Western and instead was rewarded with a film that tugs on the heartstrings. Clint Eastwood and John Wayne fans beware! However, once the story started to unfold I found that the movie was quite the charmer and found myself drawn in and heavily sympathetic to the unfortunate Tacey. The cast are excellent throughout and the script has some really lovely moments in it. As tearjerkers go 'One Desire' pretty much pushes all the buttons.

The Film: B+ Video: B Audio: B Extras: F Overall: B

 


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