This cinéma vérité film was the sole movie directed by Barbara Loden. It is the story of a “passive, disconnected coal miner’s wife who attaches herself to a petty crook”. The film is bare, simple, and raw. It was shot for a tiny budget with a crew of four. Loden said of more polished Hollywood films:
I really hate slick pictures…. They’re too perfect to be believable. I don’t mean just in the look. I mean in the rhythm, in the cutting, the music—everything. The slicker the technique is the slicker the content becomes, until everything turns into Formica, including the people.