- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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written on the wind
- kevin sellers
All Douglas Sirk movies are melodramatic. However, in most of them, there is a more substantial movie going on underneath the lovely art direction and cinematography, romantic music, and beautiful actors. In "All That Heaven Allows," there is a mordant satire of country club conformity and materialism. In this film, there is an examination of a rotten, decadent Texas oil family, (kind of an R rated Benedict clan in "Giant," if you will.) That this film is not as good as"Heaven" is largely due to the writing and the acting. George Zuckerman's screenplay fails to provide a credible "back story" to explain why the Hadley family has lost its way. They're just acting badly, for no reason, and it makes it difficult for the viewer to sympathize with them. Also, Lauren Bacall's character, Lucy Moore, has no credibility. As played by Bacall, she's intelligent, mature, and not overly impressed by wealth. Why then would she fall rather rapidly in love with Robert Stack's obviously unbalanced, wealthy Kyle Hadley? As for the acting, Rock Hudson and Bacall are decent, if underwhelming, while Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack resort to standard 1950s scenery chewing to create their caricatures of a trampy bad girl and a drunken rich boy. So, even though there are some powerful scenes, (most notably, the elder Hadley's death on the staircase while his daughter dances to "Devil" music in her bedroom) and some interesting observations on Texas gun culture as overcompensation for manhood issues, I'd have to give "Wind" a B minus.
so glad I saw this
- el debbo
Loved it... I admire Sirk's work and his vision of 50s America, his critique of the era, too. How the time made people prisoners of their situations. He made the sets & colors look brittle, enamel, to reflect this hard edge. Rock Hudson was a very good, totally believable actor always, from the intensity of 'Seconds' to the froth of 'Pillow Talk'... and he was very good in this. Same for Robert Stack, skeet shooter extraordinaire, TV crime-buster, hilarious in 'Airplane'...I loved the guy! And I thought he was a great, believable, crazed alcoholic in this. It was dramatic, but it was a 50s melodrama and it was the focus of many Oscar nominations the year it came out. For people who call it soapy, try something gritty like Midnight Cowboy, relax with that awhile. I truly enjoy watching these films that were big in a totally different era, the films my parents and grandparents went to the theater to see.
Douglas Sirk, the king of the melodrama tear-jerkers, brings us yet another! The only redeeming features of this film are a) the great performance of Dorothy Malone, and b) the title song. Robert Stack is badly miscast in this film and it's nothing but a walk-through for Rock Hudson and the incredible Lauren Bacall. Roger Ebert called this film "satirical humor" but I saw nothing sardonic or funny about it. Loved the cars, though!
Written on the Wind
- Dashiell Barnes
A powerful melodrama that I can say that I'm happy I saw. The entire cast, particullary Malone in her 'Oscar- winning' performance as a nymphomaniac, are outstanding. Although this film has many cliche's found in today's soaps, it was original when released & I found it riveting & entertaining. A great film handled by Sirk's sensetive direction & mighty performances. I give it a 4.5/5.
Written on the fly.
- Roger Steinbrink
Sorry folks, but unless you are a fan of boundless cliches, you are probably going to be disappointed here.From the opening scene, which recalls Bette Davis' "Shanghai Lady", to the insipid dialog between Lauren Bacall and Rock Hudson, to Robert Stack stumbling through his portrayal as a drunken bad boy, and Dorothy Malone as the rich, spoiled bad girl, this Tennesse Williams wannabe, pot boiler, should have been left on the stove to simmer some more.While they are all good actors, in my mind they are all miscast. This is a nonessential, mish-mash of good intentions gone awry.
Great. They don't make them like this anymore. Critics are too cynical and eleitist to appreciate good entertainment with glamour and understated lust. Enjoy!
Written On The Wind
Excellent Movie, Robert Stack was wonderful. Who could deny Lauren Bacall as a great actress. Another movie not included TCM Scheduled line-up. As an viewer I implore TCM to include some of the other wonderful classics in their scheduled line-up... Which continues to play the same classics over, and over again.
Great 50's Melodrama
- Bruce Reber
I first saw "Written On The Wind" (Universal-International 1957) about 15 years ago on another movie network, and I would rate it as one of the best dramatic films of the 1950's. A first rate cast with Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, photography by Russell Metty, direction from Douglas Sirk and a well-written script make this an excellent film. No doubt "Written On The Wind" served as the inspiration for the TV series "Dallas", about the turbulent personal lives of members of a Texas oil family. Grant Williams, the actor who played the gas station attendant that Marylee Hadley had a fling with, one year later starred in UI's "The Incredible Shrinking Man", one of the best sci-fi films ever. Hudson, Stack, Malone and director Sirk reunited to make UI's "The Tarnished Angels", and Stack and Malone were paired in MGM's "The Last Voyage" in 1960. Several of the stars went on to TV fame - Rock Hudson as police commissioner on "McMillan & Wife", Robert Stack as Eliot Ness on "The Untouchables", and Edward Platt as Maxwell Smart's boss "Chief" on "Get Smart". I last saw "Written On The Wind" on TCM in 2006 (I think it was on "The Essentials"). I don't remember it being aired since then - please put in back in your rotation TCM.on "Get Smart".
A GREAT ESSENTIAL
- WALTER WILSON
If you loved television shows like Dallas and Dynasty you will love this film.The great cast combined with a top notch screenplay by George Zuckerman makes it a true essential.
- Cassie Rose
I was in total shock after watching this film as to why it would be included on a list of essential films. The only reason I could come up with was so that aspiring actors, writers, and directors would not make the same mistakes. I could find no redeeming features in this movie. The lines were trite and predictable to the point that we were able to speak the lines before the actors. The acting was terrible. Robert Stack as a drunk was laughable. It must have been a very bad year for the Academy Awards if he was nominated for this role. And Dorothy Malone's character was neither interesting or exciting. Her dancing was reminiscent of Elaine's dancing on the Seinfeld show. Unfortunately, she reached her peak in The Big Sleep. That role was memorable,and the scene in the book store was wonderful. The bantering and flirting between Malone and Boggie was clever and interesting. This role was thankfully forgetable. A terrible film. I was amazed that Ms. Haskell thought the acting in The Treasure of Sierra Madre was overdone. That film is a real treasure and definitely an essential. Written on the Wind is pure schlock! The only thing essential about this film is that I never seen it again!
- Jeannette M. Bennett
Written on the Wind kept me and my daughter's attention fully with grippingaction and excellent acting from my two favorite actors Rock Hudson and Robert Stack. Dorothy Malone kept the drama going all thru the picture. I also enjoyed Lauren MaCall where she keeps you guessing what she will do next. We talked about this picture long after it was over. Thank you TMC for showing this movie.