One Desire


1h 34m 1955

Brief Synopsis

Circa 1900, runaway boy Nugget arrives in an Oklahoma boom town to find his brother...who's a dealer in the casino section of a palatial bawdy house, and lover of the madam, Tacey Cromwell. Together, Nugget, Clint, and Tacey seek respectability in a Colorado mining town. Clint finds work at the town's new bank, while Tacey adopts another orphan, Seely. But Clint is pursued by banker's daughter Judith Watrous, who's seemingly sweet but takes ruthless steps to eliminate competition. Result for Tacey: heartbreak, renunciation, and tears a-plenty.

Film Details

Also Known As
Tacey, Tacey Cromwell
Release Date
Aug 1955
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 20 Jul 1955
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Tacey Cromwell by Conrad Richter (New York, 1942).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.00 : 1

Synopsis

In the early 1900s, young Nugget searches the White Palace, a gambling hall, for his croupier brother, Clint Saunders. When he peeks into the dance-hall girls's dressing room, the girls are delighted to discover that he is related to Clint, until co-owner Tacey Cromwell overhears and warns them to stay away from her boyfriend. Tacey takes Nugget to her luxurious quarters, where he immediately falls asleep. Hours later, an arrogant Clint shows up late for work, and even though Tacey covers for him, co-owner "Mac" MacBain declares it Clint's last mistake. Clint, however, is not upset to be fired because he plans to move to Randsburg, Colorado, to take advantage of the newly wealthy silver miners there. Upon seeing Nugget, who explains that he ran away from relatives to escape constant beatings, Clint is thrilled but reluctant to take the boy along. Tacey, an orphan who has been forced to work as a dance-hall girl since the age of sixteen, convinces Clint to take her and Nugget with him, even though she knows he does not want to make a commitment to her. Mac, in love with Tacey, pleads with her to stay, but she explains that she wants only to erase the past and become respectable. The threesome reaches Randsburg, where Clint immediately charms beautiful Judith Watrous and her senator father, hoping to advance his career. Tacey is jealous but soon finds herself distracted by the tumbledown house she has rented for her and Nugget, and by her attempts to become domestic. To appear upright, Clint stays at a nearby hotel, and their life together proceeds smoothly. One day, Nugget meets motherless tomboy Seely Dowden, and after the two fight, Tacey explains to Nugget that he has more advantages than Seely and thus must treat her kindly. The next day, Clint runs into Judith in the bank and quickly earns her respect, and a job, by demonstrating his skill with money. Soon after, Seely's father is killed in a mine accident, and only Tacey takes the time to find and comfort her. Within weeks, both Nugget and Seely consider Tacey their mother, and Tacey, suffused with happiness, reveals to Clint that she wants to be married. He replies that he loves her but is not ready yet, and the next day spends hours with Judith and Senator Watrous. Afterward, Judith investigates Tacey's past and then informs Judge Congin that she is "not fit" to be a mother. She arranges a trip for Clint, and the moment he leaves, Tacey is put on trial where the judge names the children wards of the court. While Tacey weeps, Judith offers to take the kids into her home. Sure now that she will only hold Clint down, Tacey leaves town in secret. Although Clint frantically searches for her upon his return, Mac lies that Tacey has not returned to the White Palace, and eventually Clint gives up. Six months later, the White Palace is booming under Tacey's care, but although she tries to forget Randsburg, a letter from Seely brings her to tears. They begin a correspondence through which Tacey learns that, although the kids despise her and Clint does not love her, Judith finally marries Clint. Two years later, Judith's constant nagging causes the now-grown Seely to run away to Tacey. At the casino, Tacey hears Seely's plan to run off with a married man, and bitterly explains that she once made the same mistake and has been ruined by it. Later, she takes Seely back to Randsburg, where Judith spots her and reveals that she tipped off the judge years earlier. Suddenly aware that Judith has more to be ashamed of than she does, Tacey decides to stay in town and wreak revenge by opening a huge, showy gambling hall called The Pink Palace across the street from Clint's house. A delighted Clint visits but, sensing Tacey's spite, grows confused. On New Year's Eve, Judith is furious about the casino and fights with Clint. During their society party, Clint sneaks out to share a glass of champagne with Tacey in the casino. They quickly dissolve into a passionate kiss, but when Judith sends for Clint, Tacey runs upstairs. At his house, Clint finds Judith drunk, and she vows she will never grant him a divorce. As he leaves the house, she throws a lamp that causes a fire, and although Clint notices the flames and rushes back, he is too late to save his wife. A crowd gathers in the street, where Tacey finds Nugget and Seely but is saddened to hear of Judith's death. Suddenly, the Pink Palace also bursts into flames, and is quickly engulfed. By morning, Clint finds Tacey, Nugget and Seely at their old house, and joins his family inside.

Film Details

Also Known As
Tacey, Tacey Cromwell
Release Date
Aug 1955
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 20 Jul 1955
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel Tacey Cromwell by Conrad Richter (New York, 1942).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 34m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.00 : 1

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were Tacey and Tacey Cromwell. According to February and May 1954 Hollywood Reporter "Rambling Reporter" gossip column items, Lana Turner, Jeanne Crain, Lex Barker and Jeff Chandler were considered for lead roles. Douglas Sirk was originally assigned to be the director, and was to take on a small role as a gambler. In October 1954, however, Hollywood Reporter reported that Sirk, unable to secure the changes he wanted in the script, quit and was replaced by Jerry Hopper. Although an October 1954 Hollywood Reporter added Barbara Billingsley to the cast, she was not discernable in the print viewed.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer August 1955

Released in United States Summer August 1955