Here is the blurb:
But some fellow workers get wise to them. Steve Cochran conveys the loneliness of his character, freed for killing his brutal father when he was only 13, and now he's still a tentative, gawky pubescent operating inside a man's hulky frame. Lonesome, he visits a 10-cents-a-dance palace and falls for brassy, grasping Ruth Roman. But the sudden shooting of her police-bigwig boyfriend causes the ill-matched couple to hit the road, ending in a California migrant-worker camp. Directed by one Felix Feist.
This conjures up a world of diners, drab rooming houses, people on the move hitching lifts and riding on trains and cheap motels like the Shady Nook where our couple on the run hole up, before they join that settlement of farm workers and make friends and seem to have a whole new life, leaving their sordid pasts behind them. Ruth even lets her hair go natural to black. But Steve's photo turns up in a magazine and the neighbours have to decide whether to turn him in for the reward .... fate however intervenes, but the ending is uplifing as our newly free couple can start all over again. Though surely a good time girl like Ruth would hardly settle for living in a shack and working in the fields ?
Is the heroine in danger? - though hard to imagine Ruth not being able to fend for herself. It all plays out nicely, but if only it was as over the top as that other meller set in the desert in lurid colours: 1947's DESERT FURY which had Lizabeth Scott and Mary Astor as well as the young Burt Lancaster and that odd couple of John Hodiak and Wendall Corey, as per my review (Astor label).
I have now seen a 1987 episode of MURDER SHE WROTE (from Series 4) where Ruth guests as Loretta, the owner of the Beauty Salon (think pink!) in Cabot Cove, where the local ladies - including ageless Julie Adams, Kathryn Grant and Gloria De Haven - get their hair done and gossip.
Ruth is a joy and obviously in her element presiding over the Salon and dispensing gossip to Jessica .... she did 3 episodes of Lansbury's successful series, I shall now have to see her other two guest spots as well, as Ruth wound up her career here in a good way, in a deliciously entertaining tale.