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A woman who appears to be ill shows up in a small town and is taken in by the residents. She winds up pitting a pair of brothers against each other, having an affair with one on the day of his marriage and trying to seduce the other one as well.
In an area of the Louisiana Bayou known as The Pit, Jacques Guillot and his younger brother Pierre run a fish, fur and moss business from their house along the river. On the day of Pierre's marriage to Lily, a sweet young woman with whom Jacques has been in love, the brothers argue because Jacques refuses to attend the wedding. While the ceremony is taking place, Jacques and his hired man Cab gather moss up river. There Callie, an old Bayou woman, summons them to the unconscious body of a young woman she has found near the river. When she comes to, the woman, who is wearing an expensive blouse embroidered with the initials "M L," reveals that her first name is Minette but refuses to tell Jacques her last name. When she notices that her rings are gone, Minette accuses Jacques of stealing them, but he assures her that he is no thief. Jacques and Cab then take Minette to Doc. J. B. Opie, who, like other wedding guests, is teasing Lily and Pierre at the door of their new home. After examining her, Doc tells Pierre that Minette must stay at his house until she is better. Although Pierre is angry and wants to be alone with Lily on their wedding night, she insists that they must take care of Minette. Later, when Minette awakens from the sleeping pills Doc had given her, Lily summons him. While Lily is gone, Pierre, frustrated by not being alone with Lily, succumbs to Minette's advances when she kisses him, not realizing that Jacques sees them through the open window. A few days later, when Minette has recuperated enough to get out of bed, Pierre angrily admonishes Lily for behaving like Minette's servant and wonders why a woman dressed in such expensive clothing would want to stay with them. He calls Minette a bad woman, but will not tell Lily why. Alone with Minette, Pierre tells her that she must leave his home that day. Later, at Jacques's house, Minette states that she is grateful to Lily but hates Pierre because he forced himself on her when she was groggy from the sleeping pills. Jacques then apologizes for thinking that she willingly kissed Pierre and starts to kiss her himself. When Minette thanks him for finding her, Jacques says that Callie actually found her and must have stolen the rings. He offers to let her stay at his house, while he moves in with Cab, but soon he and Minette are living together. While Pierre, Jacques and Cab are out gathering moss one day, Pierre calls Minette a tramp and a nymphomaniac, enraging Jacques, who goes after his brother with a moss hook. Meanwhile, Minette has gone to Callie's cabin and threatens her until the old woman returns the rings she stole. After Cab summons Minette, they take Pierre, who has sustained an injury in the fight, to Doc Opie's office. When Pierre casually mentions that Minette told him that her last name is "Lanier," Doc is sure that the name is familiar, but cannot place it. At the same time, Jacques is so angry with his brother that he rips down the "Guillot Brothers" business sign and throws it in the river. When Lily and Pierre come to see him, he hands over papers to show that he is dividing their assets and dissolving their partnership. Some time later, Doc shows Pierre an old New Orleans newspaper carrying a photograph of a wealthy woman named Minette Lanier who committed suicide in the nearby town of Grange Hill. Pierre then goes toward Jacques's house. When Minette sees him, she says nothing but provocatively takes off her clothes and jumps into the river. Later, when she has dressed, Pierre confronts her about the newspaper article and accuses her of stealing her rings. At home, when Pierre tells Lily that he is going to Grange Hill to find out more information, she insists on going with him. Once at Grange Hill, they find Minette Lanier's grave and meet her husband Clay, who drunkenly rails about his wife's suicide. When Clay starts to pass out, Pierre and Lily take him home. Once Clay is lucid, Pierre tells him about the woman they know as Minette, and Clay asks if she was wearing riding clothes. After Pierre answers that she was, Clay goes to retrieve some photographs. While he is gone, Clay's loyal butler Burt implores Pierre not to say that he recognizes the pictures and relates how Clay's wife came to commit suicide: Months before, Minette has been confined to a wheelchair following a riding accident. To lift her spirits, Clay hires Nina Duprez, a girl from a local factory, to become her companion. Initially, the two women grow so close that Minette even urges Nina, who looks very much like her, to wear her expensive clothes. Soon, though, Nina starts to regard herself as the lady of the house and shifts her attentions to Clay. When Minette realizes that Nina is after her husband and her home, she orders her to leave immediately. Instead of leaving, Nina tearfully goes to Clay and tells him that she must go away because she is in love with him and does not want to hurt Minette. She then kisses Clay, making sure that Minette, who is looking out her bedroom window, see them. Clay succumbs to Nina's advances but immediately after making love regrets his mistake. As they are talking, a shot rings out and Clay rushes to Minette, who has killed herself. After Clay and Burt momentarily leave Minette's room, Nina sees Minette's rings on the dresser and puts them on. When Clay returns and sees Nina wearing the rings, he slaps her, calls her a tramp and is about to shoot her, but Nina's screams summon Burt. Ending his story, Burt tells Pierre and Lily that Clay is the finest man he has ever known. When Clay returns with the photographs of Nina, Pierre says that he does not recognize the woman, even though they are clearly pictures of the woman he has known as Minette. They then leave, after which Clay wonders if Pierre was telling the truth. Back at the Pit, Pierre confronts Nina and orders her to leave. Because she has no money, he offers her bus fare and takes Jacques's jeep to drive her to the station. Meanwhile, Clay has decided to see for himself if the woman Pierre asked about actually is Nina and drives toward The Pit. He and Pierre pass each other on the highway, after which Clay turns around and follows the jeep. Pierre pulls off the road and tells Nina to take the jeep and leave it at the bus station. Clay chases after her, but is stopped by Pierre. After a scuffle, Clay eventually calms down and realizes that it is for the best that Nina is gone. After Clay drives Pierre home, the brothers reconcile when Jacques finally learns the truth about the woman he knew as Minette. He then happily puts up a new Guillot Brothers sign. Meanwhile, Nina parks the jeep on the side of the highway, opens the hood and flags down a middle-aged man driving a Cadillac, convincing him that she is a lady in distress and hugging him close to her.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1960||Production Date:||
Comm. VHS - Englewood;
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Howco International|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Bon Aire Productions|
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