Playwright Philip Yordan stirred up controversy with his 1944 Broadway production Anna Lucasta, the sexy saga of a family of avaricious African-Americans. Such was the notoriety of the play that Columbia Pictures couldn't resist optioning it for a film version. Since this was 1949, Columbia took into consideration both censors and intolerant filmgoers by toning down the play's eroticism and transforming the characters into Polish-Americans. The 1958 Anna Lucasta was filmed in more temperate times, thus the leading characters were once again non-Caucasians. Eartha Kitt stars as waterfront prostitute Anna Lucasta, called back home by her greedy brother-in-law (Frederick O'Neal) to be married off to a moderately wealthy young man (Henry Scott). Anna spoils the brother-in-law's plans by falling in love with the young fellow and seeing to it that no one gets their mitts on his money. A visitor from Anna's past (Sammy Davis Jr.) nearly wrecks the marriage, but Anna is forgiven by her husband and allowed a chance for a new life.
by Hal Erickson synopsis