The made-for-TV The Long Hot Summer was based on the 1958 theatrical film of the same name-which, in turn, was based on two William Faulkner short stories. Don Johnson plays Ben Quick, a Southern drifter who is under suspicion as a "barn burner." Ben secures a job at the Mississippi mansion of town-boss Will Varner (Jason Robards). Varner's daughter Noel (Judith Ivey) and daughter-in-law Eula (Cybill Shepherd) vie for the handsome Ben's attention, while the patriarch's weakling son Jody (William Russ) seethes. When a few local barns are burned, Ben is the primary suspect-and no one is more suspicious than Noel. A murder trial and lynch mob both figure into the second half of the two-part The Long Hot Summer; the film originally aired October 6 and 7, 1985.
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