Wind Across the Everglades represents the once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between director Nicholas Ray and screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and a strange little picture it is indeed. In his second film appearance, Christopher Plummer plays bibulous 19th-century Florida game warden Walt Murdock, who declares war on the poachers in his region.
This brings him in direct conflict with the legendary Cottonmouth (Burl Ives), the spiritual leader of a group of illegal birdhunters.
The highly eccentric supporting cast includes Gypsy Rose Lee as a sensuous farm wife, boxer Two Ton Tony Galento as a lout named Beef, circus clown Emmett Kelly as the much-married Bigamy Bob, novelist Mackinlay Kantor as the regional judge, and Peter Falk in his film debut, as an owlish writer.
After Wind Across the Everglades, Nick Ray's Johnny Guitar will seem as antiseptic as Heidi.