The Fugitive Kind is a 1959 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet. The screenplay by Meade Roberts and Tennessee Williams was based on the latter's 1957 play Orpheus Descending, itself a revision of his unproduced 1939 work Battle of Angels. Despite being set in the Deep South, the United Artists release was filmed in Milton, New York. At the 1960 San Sebastián International Film Festival, it won the Silver Seashell for Sidney Lumet and the Zulueta Prize for Best Actress for Joanne Woodward. The film is available on videotape and DVD. A two-disc DVD edition by The Criterion Collection was released in April 2010.
Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a guitar-playing drifter, flees New Orleans in order to avoid arrest. He finds work in a small-town five-and-dime owned by an embittered older woman known as Lady Torrence, whose vicious husband Jabe lies on his deathbed in their apartment above the store. Both alcoholic nymphomaniac Carol Cutrere and simple housewife Vee Talbott set their sights on the newcomer, but Val succumbs to the charms of Lady, who plans to set him up with a refreshment bar. Sheriff Talbott, a friend of Jabe, threatens to kill Val if he remains in town, but he chooses to stay when he discovers Lady is pregnant. His decision sparks Jabe's jealousy and leads to tragic consequences.