Jennifer Jones offers a virtual reprise of her sultry performance in Duel in the Sun as the titular heroine of Ruby Gentry. Born into a poor-white-trash Southern family, Ruby intends to improve her lot by marrying into wealth. Her casual beau Boake Tackman (Charlton Heston) considers Ruby unfit for marriage, but prosperous businessman Jim Gentry (Karl Malden) is eager and willing to make her his wife. Gentry dies in an accident, and the consensus of opinion is that he was killed by the covetous Ruby. For some reason, this turns Boake on, and he renews his torrid romance with the widow Gentry. Ruby’s crazed brother, Jewel (James Anderson), puts an end to this affair with a shotgun, provoking a violent response from Ruby and a “Lady or the Tiger” ending.
Produced independently by director King Vidor and Joseph Bernhard, Ruby Gentry was released in the U.S. by 20th Century Fox.