Synopsis by Lucia Bozzola
All hell breaks loose in a Texas town when an escaped convict heads home in Arthur Penn's Southern gothic melodrama. Appointed by local kingpin Val Rogers (E. G. Marshall), benevolent Sheriff Calder (Marlon Brando) manages to keep the peace in Tarl, but the situation starts to fester one Saturday when news filters in that wild child Bubber Reeves (Robert Redford) has jumped prison. Bubber's impending arrival arouses hostility among Tarl's citizens, such as Edwin Stewart (Robert Duvall), who believes that Bubber will come after him to settle an old score, and Damon Puller (Richard Bradford), who, between grope sessions with Edwin's wife Emily (Janice Rule), uses Bubber as an excuse to terrorize black residents. As the atmosphere heats up, Calder wants to keep Bubber alive, and he convinces Bubber's wife Anna (Jane Fonda) and her lover, Val's son Jake (James Fox), to find Bubber and coax him into surrender. Val's fear that Bubber will kill his son, however, sparks a long confrontation that leaves rational law and order pummeled into the ground by the town's ignorant cruelty.
captive, captor, convict, escape, extramarital-affair, homecoming, lawman, mistaken-identity, prison, racism, revenge, small-town, spouse