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The River's Edge

The River's Edge(1957)

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Remind Me

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Ben Cameron struggles to make a living from his small Southwestern ranch while his sexy, redheaded, citified bride Meg has difficulties adjusting to the hardships of ranch life. Discontent, Meg begs Ben to revert to his former profession as a hunting guide to earn more money. When Meg threatens to leave Ben, he reminds her that the only reason she was granted parole from prison was because he married her. In the midst of their argument, Nardo Denning, Meg's partner in crime who escaped a jail sentence by double-crossing her, knocks at the ranch door. Ben, unaware of his wife's former alliance with Nardo, refuses Nardo's request to lead him across the border on a hunting trip. Ben then asks Nardo to drive Meg to town and out of his life. After Meg leaves, Ben searches her possessions and finds a photo of Nardo. While driving to town in Nardo's fancy sports car, Meg asks Nardo why he failed to pick her up her as planned, thus leaving her behind to be arrested. Nardo defends himself by claiming that he was gravely injured in a car accident while driving to meet her and that he hired the lawyer who opened her parole hearing. After checking into the local hotel, Nardo and Meg reminisce about their life of crime together in San Francisco, and Nardo discloses that his suitcase contains one million dollars in cash. When Nardo asks Meg to join him in his flight across the border, Meg confides that she loves Nardo, not Ben but still feels remorseful about leaving Ben, the man who saved her from prison, and insists on telling him in person. Ben, meanwhile, bitter at Meg's rejection, goes into town to sell his ranch and there learns that Meg has just driven off with a man in a sports car. On their way back to the ranch, Nardo is stopped by a border patrolman, who insists on inspecting the trunk of his car. As the officer peers into the trunk, Nardo puts the car in reverse and runs him over. Panicked, Meg jumps out of the car, and when Nardo careens his vehicle toward her, she is sure that she is to be his next victim. After Nardo smashes his car into some rocks, he claims that he was only trying to catch up to Meg and that he did not know his car was in reverse when he ran over the officer. As the night wears on, Ben is anxiously awaiting Meg's return to town when the injured patrolman is brought in. With his dying breath, the man gasps that he was run down by a man in a sports car accompanied by a redhead. When Ben arrives home, Nardo warns Meg that she will be charged as an accessory to murder unless she can convince her husband to guide them to safety across the border. After agreeing to accept the job for $10,000, Ben spots Nardo's suitcase stuffed with cash. They leave in Ben's truck and trailer, but upon reaching the mountains, Ben informs them they must conduct the rest of the journey on foot. During their arduous trek through the hills, they encounter Whiskers, a reclusive old prospector. While Nardo is scaling a cliff, his suitcase springs open and the cash spills out. As Meg and Whiskers scurry to pick up the bills, Nardo shoots the prospector in the back. Realizing that Nardo will kill anyone who stands in his way, Meg begins to fear for Ben's life. To spare Ben, Meg lies to Nardo that they are only five miles from the border and she can easily lead them across. Ben watches as Nardo and Meg kiss and then walk off into the night together. Upon nearing an Indian reservation, Meg screams for help and, in the confusion, cuts her arm. After catching up to them, Ben tells Nardo that they are several days from the border, alerting him to the fact that Meg has betrayed him. Claiming that she has been cured of Nardo, Meg pleads with Ben to leave with her, but he wants to stay around to "watch Nardo die." After Meg's arm becomes infected and she develops a fever during a drenching rainstorm, they all take shelter in a cave and Ben goes to gather some firewood so that he can boil some water and operate on Meg's arm. To start the fire, Ben uses his $10,000, and after it is used up, he demands that Nardo give him more bills to ignite the flames. As Meg writhes in pain, Ben treats her arm and then promises to wait for her if she is sent back to jail. Aware that Nardo intends to kill them, Ben empties the gunpowder from his bullets. The next morning, Nardo realizes that they have crossed the border and snatches the gun from Ben's hand. When the pistol fires blanks, the two begin to fight, dislodging some rocks that fall onto Ben's leg, pinning him down. Rendered helpless, Ben advises Meg to save herself and flee with Nardo, but she replies that she would rather die with Ben. When Nardo asks for directions, Ben gives him a choice: one path leads to an Indian village, where he can find help to rescue Ben and Meg, the other leads to a small airport, where he can fly to Mexico City. After Nardo departs, Ben and Meg struggle to budge the rock restraining Ben. Once freed, they continue on but soon stop to rest, exhausted. While trudging along a darkened road, Nardo spots an approaching truck and steps out to hail it. The driver, half asleep, runs him off the road and sends him sailing over a cliff, $100 bills fluttering out of his suitcase. The next morning, Ben is awakened by a crow carrying a $100 bill in his beak and then sees a torrent of cash floating downstream. Following the trail of bills, they find Nardo's body smashed on the rocks and realize that he was on his way to find them help, the first decent thing that he ever did. Picking up Meg, Ben heads for home.