Claudelle Inglish (1961): Gordon Douglas’ Family Melodrama, Starring Diane McBain and Arthur Kennedy

Gordon Douglas directed Claudelle Inglish, a two-generational family melodrama, based on the 1958 novel by Erskine Caldwell, and starring Diane McBain and Arthur Kennedy.

Claudelle Inglish

Original poster


The cast includes Warner Bros. Television contract stars, including Diane McBain who replaced the original choice, Anne Francis. McBain was then a rising star, appearing in Surfside 6 and had previously co-starred with Troy Donahue in Parrish.

McBain plays a shy, pretty girl named Claudelle Inglish, the daughter of a poor sharecropper Clyde Inglish (Arthur Kennedy) and his wife Jessie (Constance Ford).

She starts dating the poor, handsome farm boy Linn Varner (Chad Everett) during their senior year in high school. The couple hit it off, and soon they fall in love.

Her mother objects to the relationship, fearing Claudelle will end up in the same rut she is, being married to a poor farmer. Claudelle is forced to endure her parents’ arguments stemming from Jessie’s unhappy marriage  to Clyde, a poor if hard-working farmer.

Complications arise when a richer boy starts dating Claudelle, and her unhappy mother falls for another man, resulting in tragedy for all concerned.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Costume Design (b/w): Howard Shoup

Oscar Awards:

The winner was Piero Gherardi for Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita.”

Diane McBain as Claudelle Inglish
Arthur Kennedy as Clyde Inglish
Will Hutchins as Dennis Peasley
Constance Ford as Jessie Inglish
Claude Akins as S.T. Crawford
with Frank Overton as Harley Peasley
Chad Everett as Linn Varner
Robert Colbert as Rip Guyler
Ford Rainey as Reverend Armstrong
James Bell as Josh
Robert Logan as Charles Henry


Directed by Gordon Douglas
Produced by Leonard Freeman
Screenplay by Freeman, based on from the novel by Erskine Caldwell
Music by Howard Jackson
Cinematography Ralph Woolsey, A.S.C.
Edited by Folmar Blangsted
Production and distribution: Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Release date April 13, 1962
New York premiere: September 20, 1961
Running time 99 mins.
Box office $3.5 million


TCM showed the movie on March 31, 2021.