Lure of the Wilderness
|Lure of the Wilderness|
|Directed by||Jean Negulesco|
|Produced by||Robert L. Jacks|
|Written by||Vereen Bell (novel)
|Music by||Franz Waxman|
|Editing by||Barbara McLean|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Release date(s)||July 16, 1952|
|Running time||93 minutes|
|Box office||$2 million (US rentals)|
Lure of the Wilderness is a 1952 romantic adventure film directed by Jean Negulesco. The film, which was shot in Technicolor, is based on the 1941 novel Swamp Water by Vereen Bell, and is a remake of the Jean Renoir's 1941 adaption of the novel featuring Walter Brennan in a smaller version of his leading role in the earlier film.
The film is set in the 1910s in Fargo, Georgia, near a dangerous swamp. Ben Tyler and his father Zack one day go into the swamp to search for two lost trappers. During an unsuccessful journey, Ben's dog Careless disappears while run after a deer. While looking for Careless, Ben is hit in the head by someone, and when he awakens, he finds himself captured by two primitive people, the old Jim Harper and his fierce, aggressive daughter Laurie.
Ben recognizes Jim, who has been accused of a murder committed eight years ago. Fearing to be lycnhed, Jim and his daughter have since fled the nearby village to live in the wilderness. Jim admits to one killing, claiming it was done in self-defense, but insists that the other murder was committed by the vicious Longden brothers. Despite Laurie's clearly noticeable lack of trust in Ben, he believes the story of Jim and tells them he wants to return to the civilization to give them a fair trial.
The following days, Ben accompanies Jim and Laurie in their routine days, which includes hunting. In this period, Laurie's hostility towards Ben softens and they start feeling attracted to each other. During a short return to home, Ben outrages his father and fiancée Noreen by announcing he will soon go back into the swamp. Noreen announces she does not plan on waiting for him and that she will look for another beau. At a later dance, Noreen provokes a fight between Ben and Jack Doran, her date, and Ben eventually breaks off the engagement.
Noreen follows Ben to Laurie and finds out about her identity. She falsely claims to Laurie that Ben has betrayed the Harpers and she next tells the Longdens about Ben's interference with Jim and Laurie. As a revenge, the Longdens almost drown Ben and later try to find the Harpers to kill them, so the truth will not come out. Ben also goes into the swamp to warn Jim and Laurie, who initially do not believe his warnings until Ben becomes a target of the Longdens. After Jim is shot by one of them, Laurie sets a trap which kills one of the brothers and captures the other. In the end, the Harpers' name is cleared and they are finally able to return to the civilization, accompanied by Ben.
- Jean Peters as Laurie Harper
- Jeffrey Hunter as Ben Tyler
- Constance Smith as Noreen McGowan
- Walter Brennan as Jim Harper
- Tom Tully as Zack Taylor
- Harry Shannon as Pat McGowan
- Will Wright as Sheriff Brink
- Jack Elam as Dave Longden
- Harry Carter as Ned Tyler
- 'Top Box-Office Hits of 1952', Variety, January 7, 1953
- Info "Screenplay Info for Lure of the Wilderness (1952)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2010-03-12.
- "Notes for Lure of the Wilderness (1952)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2010-03-12.