Money Cannot Buy Class

8 Jun

One of my favorite movies is Home from the Hill, a 1960 melodrama starring Robert Mitchum and Eleanor Parker. It follows the lives of Wade Hunnicutt and his family through a myriad of Shakespearean conflicts. Their’s is far from the perfect family. However, there is another aspect of Wade’s life that attracts me to the movie. He is the richest man in town.Home from the Hill

Hunnicutt owns all of the good farmland and lives in the biggest house. Everyone calls him Captain as a sign of respect, but it is also a sign of obedience. Hunnicutt’s stature leads him to believe that he has the right to do anything he wants. He plainly states his outlook on life when he says that he is the “kind of man that walks around with nothing in his pockets, no identification because everyone knows who you are. No cash because anyone in town would be happy to lend you anything you need. No keys ’cause you don’t keep a lock on a single thing you own. And no watch because time waits on you.”

Hunnicutt also believes that he is the kind of man who can have any woman he wants, single or married, because his wealth and power allows it. In fact, the movie begins with Hunnicutt getting shot by a jealous husband. As the movie continues, it gets more and more complicated.

So, why am I interested in the story of Wade Hunnicutt? Because he is the perfect example of how people with wealth or power should not act. People who are lucky enough to hold such status should be humble and should realize that it does not make them better than others. They should realize that they do not have the right to treat others with disrespect.

A lot of discussion has focused on the 1%. Well, it is real people like the fictional Wade Hunnicutt who give the 1% a bad name. Sure, Hunnicutt may be an over the top caricature, but he still represents the idea wealth and power allows people to act in ways that are inappropriate.Phoenix Ball

Last night, we attended the Phoenix Ball, a local gathering that raises money for Cumberland University, and I started thinking about this. We ran into a lady who has been a long time resident of our town and is someone of means. However, you would not know it by talking to her. She does not put on airs and always takes time to ask about family and friends. In essence, she knows how to act. She has class.

I have been in the presence of a lot of people who are like her. You would never know what they have through their actions. However, I have also been in the presence of a lot of people who make a point to let you know who they are and where they rank. I wonder which ones are truly the more successful.

As I tweeted earlier, money can buy a lot of things, but it cannot buy class. I wish more people would realize that money does not bring respect. Being a good person and treating people right is what brings respect. That is something people from all economic levels can do.

 

3 Responses to “Money Cannot Buy Class”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong June 8, 2014 at 20:16 #

    This is one of Garry’s favorites too … Not so much mine. For the same reasons you like it, I sort of don’t. It’s a matter of perspective, I guess.

    • Rick June 8, 2014 at 20:26 #

      In the end, Wade’s lifestyle leads to tragedy for everybody. There is a lesson to be learned.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Legacy of the Phoenix | Surrounded By Imbeciles - June 13, 2014

    […] couple of posts ago, I mentioned that we attended the Phoenix Ball, an annual fundraiser for Cumberland University. For decades, the Phoenix has been the symbol of […]

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