Desire in the Dust tried to jump on the “southern” style movie Bandwagon, and it fell off. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, was the premire southern movie of this time, as was Long Hot Summer, but Desire in the Dust just couldn’t measure up. Raymond Burr just wasn’t right for this role, nor was Joan Bennett as his disturbed wife, she spent most of her time mourning her dead son.
This film tried to put as much into this story as it possibly can in 102 minutes and none of it works. Even the plot summary in IMDB is confusing. Almost as confusing as the movie itself. What it mainly boils down to is a sahrecropper’s son is released from prison for running over a young boy, which he didn’t do. It was actually the boys sister that was driving the car that killed her brother, and the sharecropper’s son took the rap becasue he was in love with the daughter…who as it happens got married while he was in prison, and now he seeks vengence. This and a whole lot more thrown together, makes this a poorlyscripted, poorly cast, poorly performed and poorly directed film.
With better direction and a somewhat less entangled script this film could have actually been good.