We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
Otto Preminger's "Hurry Sundown" is a frustrating case, not good but not particularly bad, with a smokescreen of controversy surrounding it and obscuring its real faults. The trouble with this film (sanctimonious bleats from Newsweek and Bosley Crowther notwithstanding) is not that it's racist and tasteless, but that it's naive and dull.
Preminger set out to tell the story of a greedy businessman, Michael Caine, and the two sharecroppers, who refuse to sacrifice their farms to his industrial schemes. Preminger develops his story by telling something of the private lives of the three protagonists. Caine and his wife, Jane Fonda, are wealthy, bored by each other and living in a marriage based on hostility. They play games. John Phillip Law and his wife, Faye Dunaway, are simple but decent white sharecroppers, poverty stricken but in love. Robert Hooks, as the Negro sharecropper, isn't even married, but he kisses Diahann Carroll once and they get to spend the night together baby-sitting for Law's kids.
It kind of reminds you of the arithmetic problems starring A, B and C, in which everybody starts filling his bathtub at the same time but B has to carry his water in a bucket and C has a hole in the bottom of his tub.
When Caine discovers that the sharecroppers are teaming up to resist him, an uneasy truce comes to an end. He rounds up some white trash and they all go out to blow up the levee and put the farms under water. This gives Preminger a chance to include a lot of crude white trash dialog, proving he isn't prejudiced one way or the other.