Gal Young Un

An independent feature from Florida, adapted from a story by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Victor Nunez’s film moves slowly, but with such a precise sense of period (prohibition) and place (the backwoods of central Florida) that it acquires a solid, sensual mass as it develops, aided and abetted by Nunez’s pleasurable camera work. A well-to-do widow (Dana Preu) marries and gets exploited by a slick, younger moonshiner (David Peck) who eventually brings home a teenage mistress (J. Smith, the title waif) until poetic comeuppance finally gets delivered. Preu and a wonderful ginger cat, both inspired nonprofessionals, jointly walk away with the movie (1979). (JR)

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