Desire Under the Elms
Ephraim Cabot is an old man of amazing vitality who loves his New England farm with a greedy passion. Hating him, and sharing his greed, are the sons of two wives Cabot has overworked into early graves. Most bitter is Eben, whose mother had owned most of the farm, and who feels who should be sole heir. When the old man brings home a new wife, Anna, she becomes a fierce contender to inherit the farm. Two of the sons leave when Eben gives them the fare in return for their shares of the farm. Meanwhile, Anna tries to cause some sparks by rubbing up against Eben.
This comes off a bit melodramatic at times, but it is great fodder for a trio of good performances by Hopkins, Loren, and especially Burl Ives. Ives plays a farm owner who has worked his previous two wives to death, much to the hate of his sons. Ives seems a cold man who only cares about the land that he actually pretty much stole from Perkins' mother. While their father is away, the brothers get word that he has remarried... to a woman who is 1/3 his age (a beautiful Sophia Loren). Perkins' two brothers make a deal with Perkins and flee to the gold rush in California. Perkins only wants the land that rightfully belonged to his mother the…