James Stewart stars as a railroad man hired to secretly carry a payroll despite his suspected connections to outlaws
Okay, so Redgrave wasn't the most obvious actor to cast as the son of a Cumberland miner, but his starring role here is a good measure of the film's utterly compelling mix of social realism and highly crafted cinematic art. Location shooting in Workington is blended in with an astonishing Shepperton reconstruction of a mining village - 40,000 square yards of it, complete with real pit ponies. The story, based on Cronin's novel, is a tale of two guys and a girl - Redgrave's self-improving university boy, Williams's unscrupulous rival, Lockwood's flighty slattern.
But it's the background detail that gives the story its power, not the old melodrama routines through which the plot puts its characters.
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