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directed by King Vidor
USA 1952


Academy Award-winning actress Jennifer Jones (Duel in the Sun, The Song of Bernadette) delivers a "powerful performance" (The Hollywood Reporter) as a strong-willed Southern beauty from the wrong side of the tracks in this bold, sweeping drama co-starring Oscar winners Charlton Heston and Karl Malden. She was raised in the rugged swamplands. He was born into wealth and privilege. Yet, from the moment Ruby (Jones) first laid eyes on Boake (Heston), she vowed to have him for her own. Now, the residents of the small tidewater town will do everything in their power to stand in her way. But they've never seen a passion like this one...and they've never met a woman like Ruby!


Since neither of the principals is cast in a sympathetic light it is a credit to King Vidor's sensitive direction that Jennifer Jones, as a Ruby Gentry who is often more physical than delicate, gives stature to the delineation. A spirited and passionate creature, she generates voltage in tight-fitting jeans or evening gowns as the girl who could learn to hate as easily as she loves. Charlton Heston, as Boake, is a convincingly muscular and indomitable gent, whose attempts to better his lot destroy him. Karl Maiden's charactrization of the compassionate, self-made tycoon who knows he is second in his wife's affections but is willing to make the best of it, is smoothly underplayed and credible. And James Anderson, as Ruby's psychopathically religious brother, who kills her lover; Tom Tully, as her swamp-bred, roughly loving father and Bernard Phillips, as a Yankee doctor, who self-effacingly adores her, add proper color to the proceedings.

As has been noted, King Vidor has taken full advantage of the misty swampland; of the rough-hewn hunting lodge kept by Ruby's people and of the prevalent caste system whose mellifluous accents cannot hide its implacable differences. But these, after all, are secondary characteristics. "Ruby Gentry" is purveying pure, old-fashioned passion, corny and uncut, and she doesn't care who knows it.

Excerpt of review on A.W. of the NY Times located HERE


Theatrical Release: December 25th, 1952 (USA)

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DVD Review: MGM - Region 1 - NTSC

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Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:22:33

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.40 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio Dolby Digital 2.0 (English)
Subtitles English, French, Spanish, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: October 19th, 2004
Keep Case

Chapters 16



Although single-layered and interlaced it is still miles beyond the usual, PD or DVD-R classics, image quality we have been covering of late. Contrast and detail are strong and the transfer gives a decent-to-impressive presentation. Grain peeks through and I see no untoward manipulations. The interlacing produces combing but it never seemed extravagant. The source used was very clean.

The audio is likewise consistent and acceptable for standard viewing. The DVD offers optional subtitles but not an iota of an extra feature.

Like Vidor's earlier The Fountainhead, Ruby Gentry is filled with sensuality. As a Noir - it may be debatable excepting, the overly ripe, Jen Jones` sultry femme fatale. This is a damn good film in many respects - but as obvious as the marketing angle. The enduring star performances give this the strongest life - and at the offered price (less than $15) it is absolutely worth it. This vintage Hollywood soap is, by all means, recommended!

  - Gary Tooze


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