Something Wild


1h 56m 1986

Brief Synopsis

When conventional New York bond trader Charlie Driggs accepts a ride home from the very unconventional Lulu, his life takes an abrupt turn. Instead of taking him home, the free-spirited Lulu takes Charlie on a road trip to Virginia, introducing him to kinky sex and robbery among other things. Things

Film Details

Also Known As
Dangereuse sous tous rapports, vildaste laget
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1986
Distribution Company
Orion Pictures
Location
Tallahasee, Florida, USA; New York City, New York, USA; Leon County, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 56m

Synopsis

When conventional New York bond trader Charlie Driggs accepts a ride home from the very unconventional Lulu, his life takes an abrupt turn. Instead of taking him home, the free-spirited Lulu takes Charlie on a road trip to Virginia, introducing him to kinky sex and robbery among other things. Things become more complicated when she explains that her real name is Audrey and persuades him to pretend to be her husband when she takes him to meet her mother. And events escalate from complicated to scary when Audrey takes Charlie to her high school reunion and her psychotic husband arrives, turning Charlie's fling into a fight for his life.

Crew

Richard Adee

On-Set Dresser

Carlos Alomar

Song

Bill Anagnos

Stunt Man

Laurie Anderson

Music

Johann Sebastian Bach

Music

Eugenie Bafaloukos

Costume Supervisor

Harold Baile

Song

Arthur Baker

Song

Tina Baker

Song Performer

Tina Baker

Song

Rita Barbera

Wardrobe Supervisor

David Bean

Song

Ken Beattie

Electrician

Louis Bertini

Sound

Kathryn Bird

Art Assistant

Grace Blake

Production Coordinator

David Boone

Other

N S Bopare

Song

David Bowie

Song

Sharon Boyle

Music Supervisor

Ron Bozman

Associate Producer

Ron Bozman

Assistant Director

Risa Bramon Garcia

Casting

Bob Brennan

Best Boy

James Brown

Song

Manley Buchanan

Song

Manley Buchanan

Song Performer

Reed Burns

Color Timer

Vince Burns

Production Assistant

David Byrne

Song Performer

David Byrne

Song

John Cale

Music

Ali Campbell

Song

Alvin Campbell

Song

Franklyn Campbell

Song

Robin Campbell

Song

Parnes Cartwright

Production Assistant

Beth Cavano

Casting

Exene Cervenka

Song

Lisa Chadwick

Song

Lisa Chadwick

Song Performer

Donna Chase

Production Assistant

Diana Chingos

Assistant

Jimmy Cliff

Song Performer

Ashley Cooper

Song

Thomas Corey

Song

Celia Cruz

Song Performer

Alan D'angerio

Hair

Danny Darst

Song Performer

Danny Darst

Song

Martha Davis

Song

Richard Dean

Makeup

Jonathan Demme

Producer

Peter Demme

Carpenter

Neil Diamond

Song

R W Dixon

Production Assistant

Robert Dockett

Song

John Doe

Song

Kathleen Dolan

Props

John Donahue

Key Grip

Sam Dotson

Song

Danny Elfman

Song

Debbi Ellis

Stunt Man

Gene Engels

Electrician

F Ennui

Song

E Karin Epstein

Photography

Chuck Esty

Carpenter

Robin Fajardo

Assistant

Earl Falconer

Song

Loretta Farb

Production Associate

Cheo Feliciano

Song

Cheo Feliciano

Song Performer

Jim Finguerra

Scenic Artist

Jimmy Finnerty

Dolly Grip

Tom Fleischman

Sound

Michael Forcade

Wardrobe Supervisor

Robert Forester

Song

E. Max Frye

Screenplay

Tak Fujimoto

Dp/Cinematographer

Tak Fujimoto

Director Of Photography

William Garvey

Song

Rudy Gaskins

Assistant Editor

Vincent Gerardo

Camera Assistant

William Gerardo

Camera Assistant

J Kathleen Gibson

Assistant Editor

Howard Gindoff

Assistant Editor

Gary Goetzman

Song Performer

Gary Goetzman

Music

Andrea Graham

Grip

Frank Graziadei

Sound

James W Greenhut

Assistant Director

Clay A. Griffith

Art Assistant

Richard Guay

Production Auditor

Brian Hansen

Other

Ricky Harris

Song

Ronald Harris

Song

Jerry Harrison

Song

Jerry Harrison

Song Performer

Norman Hassan

Song

Jerry Holt

Construction

Gus Holzer

Production Associate

Billy Hopkins

Casting

Kurt Illinger

Electrician

Susan Inge Wood

Scenic Artist

Anthony Jannelli

Camera Operator

Jean-michel Jarre

Song

Jean-michel Jarre

Song Performer

Bill Johnson

Assistant Editor

Jerry Johnson

Song

M Jones

Song

Steve Jones

Song Performer

Steve Jones

Song

Jeff Jourad

Song

Mitch Kaplan

Song

Vivian Keith

Song

Kris Kristofferson

Song

Dana J Kuznetzkoff

Dga Trainee

Bill Largin

Production Assistant

Jacek Laskus

Creative Consultant

Winston Lawless

Props

Les Lazarowitz

Sound

Q Lazzarus

Song Performer

John Lennon

Song

John Leonidas

Transportation Coordinator

Alisa Lepselter

Apprentice

D Letts

Song

Heidi Levitt

Casting Associate

Stephen J Lineweaver

Art Director

Pat Macenulty

Assistant

Louis Marriot

Song

Brian Marshall

Grip

Kyle Mccarthy

Assistant Director

Pat Mcdonald

Song

Craig Mckay

Editor

Grant Mclennan

Song

Sandy Mcleod

Script Supervisor

L Mcqueen

Song

Jim Meade

Grip

Charles Meere

Gaffer

Glenn Mercer

Song

Ann Miller

Property Master

Bill Miller

Associate Producer

Herbie Miller

Song

Bill Million

Song

Norma Moriceau

Production Designer

Michel Moyse

Sound Editor

Linda Murphy

Boom Operator

Yvette Nabel

Adr

Charles Napier

Song Performer

Charles Napier

Song

Wazmo Nariz

Song

Wazmo Nariz

Song Performer

Kevin Oates

On-Set Dresser

Sonny Okossun

Song

Sonny Okossun

Song Performer

L Palmer

Song

Julie Parker

Wardrobe Supervisor

Suzana Peric

Music Editor

N Peters

Song

Lisa Peterson

Casting Associate

E Piliso

Song

Jacqueline Pinon

Wardrobe Supervisor

Dennis Radesky

Transportation Captain

Billy Reynolds

Set Decorator

John Robotham

Stunt Man

John Robotham

Stunt Coordinator

Jim Roche

Song

Scott Rogness

Song Performer

Scott Rogness

Song

Steve Rose

Location Manager

George Marshall Ruge

Stunt Man

Dan Sable

Sound Editor

Lynn Sable

Sound

David Sardi

Assistant Director

Nancy Savoca

Production Auditor

Ann Sawyer

Apprentice

Edward Saxon

Executive Producer

Diane Schaub

Assistant Editor

Tom Schurke

Video

Jill Searchinger

Sound

Pete Shelley

Song

Don Smetzer

Photography

John E Smith

Best Boy

Annie Spiegelman

Production Assistant

Reilly Steele

Adr

Anne Stein

Adr Editor

Dawn Sydney Steinberg

Production Assistant

D C Stringer

Song Performer

Chip Taylor

Song

Sidonia Thorpe

Song

Camilla Toniolo

Associate Editor

Brian Travers

Song

Paul Trejo

Sound Editor

Kenneth Utt

Production Manager

Kenneth Utt

Producer

Jim Van Voris

Production Assistant

Steven Van Zandt

Song

Jasper Van't Hof

Song

Jasper Van't Hof

Song Performer

Michael Virtue

Song

Film Details

Also Known As
Dangereuse sous tous rapports, vildaste laget
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1986
Distribution Company
Orion Pictures
Location
Tallahasee, Florida, USA; New York City, New York, USA; Leon County, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 56m

Articles

Something Wild - Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith & Ray Liotta in Jonathan Demme's Overlooked SOMETHING WILD on DVD


A couple of years before the Heaven's Gate debacle precipitated a corporate melt-down at United Artists, three UA executives broke free to form Orion Pictures, a distribution-financing entity that released a steady flow of interesting and popular films. After starting out with Roger Corman, director Jonathan Demme made his mark with the quirky and endearing comedy Melvin and Howard, and hit his career peak at Orion with the amusing Married to the Mob and his Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs. 1986's Something Wild is a partial road picture about a straight-laced banking executive sidetracked by an alluring young woman who calls herself Lulu. Demme says that he fell in love with the utter unpredictability of E. Max Frye's original screenplay: every single incident and character turn comes as a complete surprise. Something Wild begins as an updated screwball comedy but changes its tone as its characters reveal their true selves. Director Demme shows his passion for unusual, alternative music choices by placing David Byrne's appropriately eccentric song Loco de Amor behind the main titles: "Like a pizza in the rain / no one wants to take you home".

The provocative Lulu (Melanie Griffith) picks up divorced young banker Charles Diggs (Jeff Daniels) in a New York diner and half-seduces, half-kidnaps him into an erotic weekend adventure. After a reckless stop at a New Jersey motel, Lulu drives Charles across several states to her hometown. There he learns that her real name is Audrey Hankel, and that the exotic "Lulu" is a veneer hiding the personal problems of a small-town girl. Outfitted in new clothes, Charles accompanies Audrey to her high school reunion, where they meet up with the unusually solicitous Ray Sinclair (Ray Liotta). An impromptu double date takes on an entire new complexion when Ray and Audrey reveal their true relationship ... and that Ray is a convicted felon on a very shaky parole.

Something Wild is a rare 1980s picture where seemingly everything works. Director Demme's key collaborators stayed with him for several pictures, including cameraman Tak Fujimoto, editor Craig McKay and producers Kenneth Utt, John Saxon and Gary Goetzman. The director also maintained close ties with many contemporary musicians, as can be seen in his sensationally good concert film Stop Making Sense. Something Wild is peppered with stealth cameos by name singers and performers of the time. Demme enlists a favorite band, The Feelies, to play at Audrey Hankel's high school reunion.

Demme had already proven his ability to animate interesting characters and keep an audience on its toes. The weekend lovers of Something Wild shift identities at least three times as the story changes direction. Audrey's seductive Lulu has adopted the name and hairstyle of silent actress Louise Brooks, making her reversion to her original, "hometown" persona a major surprise for Charlie Diggs. Charlie is much more than a New York square learning to loosen up under Lulu's influence. Beginning as the patsy in an erotic farce, he proves himself eager to adapt to Lulu/Audrey's sense of passion and freedom. Charlie volunteers to take Audrey to her high school reunion, that ritual where former classmates compare one another's chosen "adult" identities. Something Wild's reunion promises an optimistic future for Audrey, if she can escape the mistakes of her past. The scene provides an interesting contrast with the bittersweet school reunion in Francis Coppola's nostalgic fantasy Peggy Sue Got Married, made the same year.

The film's most memorable jolt occurs when Ray Sinclair reveals himself to be a dangerous criminal with an unwelcome claim on Audrey. We immediately realize why Audrey took off for a new life in New York. Cuffed about and ditched by the roadside, the comparatively defenseless Charlie rises to the occasion. In a tense face-to-face confrontation he outsmarts the borderline-psychotic Ray... temporarily. What began as a carefree sex romp has somehow morphed into a violent, brutal thriller. As Charlie fights for his life, we share his panic: "How did I get here?"

Demme's casting acumen couldn't be bettered. Melanie Griffith began as a teenager in edgy roles in The Harrad Experiment and Arthur Penn's moody Night Moves, and had recently played in Brian De Palma's erotic thriller Body Double. Jeff Daniels' Charlie is a safe-playing business cog overly concerned with maintaining appearances. We share Charlie's delight as he lets himself go at the dance and plays the open-minded nice guy with the initially charming Ray. Even more importantly, Charlie becomes a worthy nerd-hero when it comes time to win back the girl of his dreams. He sticks his neck way out for Audrey, taking risks and trusting in his own ability to out-think the menacing Ray.

Ray Liotta is the film's big surprise. Jonathan Demme knew he had found the right actor at the walk-on audition, when Liotta projected a genuinely intimidating aura of danger. The actor intimidates the audience as well. His Ray Sinclair is a serious sexual threat, whose aggressive smile and insistent jokes mask a deep inner rage. Audrey and Charlie have been play-acting dangerous games, but Ray really means business; the dynamics of this wild threesome generate a powerful spell. The impressive Liotta would find an even better showcase for his combination of charm and malice in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas.

Something Wild balances its heavy drama with a time-capsule snapshot of America in 1986. Roadside establishments yield scores of interesting and often helpful characters, from a suspicious motorcycle cop (John Sayles) to a sleazy used car salesman (John Waters). Charles and Lulu give a ride to a diverse group of hitchhikers. Charlie Diggs receives midnight advice from a philosophical man he bumps into at a motel (Jim Roche, an art teacher found on location). A giggly teenaged girl inadvertently helps Ray Sinclair out of a tight spot with the police. Everybody gets their say -- motel clerks, convenience store cashiers, even a pair of opinionated old ladies in a used clothing store.

Director Demme's lively music choices are also worthy of note. An overlay of upbeat "world music" cues comments on Lulu's exotic allure. Composers Laurie Anderson and John Cale contribute one conventional soundtrack cue each, and various alternative rock songs cover the rest of the picture. The title theme is carried by the old '60s standby Wild Thing, both as audio sourced from a car radio and as a cute musical finale for the film's trippy credit roll, sung and danced by 'Sister' Carol East. Something Wild lives up to its promise: the adventures of its failed yuppie and unstable adventuress are original, unpredictable and wildly attractive.

Criterion's Blu-ray of Something Wild features a bright and colorful widescreen HD transfer supervised by Tak Fujimoto and approved by the director. The stereophonic audio track brings out every nuance of the film's detailed mix, including odd music cues buried in the background ambience.

Disc producer Curtis Tsui's excellent making-of featurette is built around a candid interview with Jonathan Demme. The director's enthusiastic explanation of the circumstances that led to Something Wild includes his previous disaster with the studio-controlled Swing Shift. Demme expresses his avid interest in musicians, actors and other creative people, and points out how some local non-pro actors were given mid-shoot promotions to larger roles. In addition to the abovementioned Jim Roche, two of the dancing extras for the reunion scene were so good that they inspired an uninhibited dance moment for Charlie Diggs.

Screenwriter E. Max Frye is also made the subject of a new interview, and an original trailer is included. Critic David Thompson contributes an essay to the disc's fat insert booklet.

For more information about Something Wild, visit The Criterion Collection. To order Something Wild, go to TCM Shopping.

by Glenn Erickson
Something Wild - Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith & Ray Liotta In Jonathan Demme's Overlooked Something Wild On Dvd

Something Wild - Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith & Ray Liotta in Jonathan Demme's Overlooked SOMETHING WILD on DVD

A couple of years before the Heaven's Gate debacle precipitated a corporate melt-down at United Artists, three UA executives broke free to form Orion Pictures, a distribution-financing entity that released a steady flow of interesting and popular films. After starting out with Roger Corman, director Jonathan Demme made his mark with the quirky and endearing comedy Melvin and Howard, and hit his career peak at Orion with the amusing Married to the Mob and his Oscar-winning Silence of the Lambs. 1986's Something Wild is a partial road picture about a straight-laced banking executive sidetracked by an alluring young woman who calls herself Lulu. Demme says that he fell in love with the utter unpredictability of E. Max Frye's original screenplay: every single incident and character turn comes as a complete surprise. Something Wild begins as an updated screwball comedy but changes its tone as its characters reveal their true selves. Director Demme shows his passion for unusual, alternative music choices by placing David Byrne's appropriately eccentric song Loco de Amor behind the main titles: "Like a pizza in the rain / no one wants to take you home". The provocative Lulu (Melanie Griffith) picks up divorced young banker Charles Diggs (Jeff Daniels) in a New York diner and half-seduces, half-kidnaps him into an erotic weekend adventure. After a reckless stop at a New Jersey motel, Lulu drives Charles across several states to her hometown. There he learns that her real name is Audrey Hankel, and that the exotic "Lulu" is a veneer hiding the personal problems of a small-town girl. Outfitted in new clothes, Charles accompanies Audrey to her high school reunion, where they meet up with the unusually solicitous Ray Sinclair (Ray Liotta). An impromptu double date takes on an entire new complexion when Ray and Audrey reveal their true relationship ... and that Ray is a convicted felon on a very shaky parole. Something Wild is a rare 1980s picture where seemingly everything works. Director Demme's key collaborators stayed with him for several pictures, including cameraman Tak Fujimoto, editor Craig McKay and producers Kenneth Utt, John Saxon and Gary Goetzman. The director also maintained close ties with many contemporary musicians, as can be seen in his sensationally good concert film Stop Making Sense. Something Wild is peppered with stealth cameos by name singers and performers of the time. Demme enlists a favorite band, The Feelies, to play at Audrey Hankel's high school reunion. Demme had already proven his ability to animate interesting characters and keep an audience on its toes. The weekend lovers of Something Wild shift identities at least three times as the story changes direction. Audrey's seductive Lulu has adopted the name and hairstyle of silent actress Louise Brooks, making her reversion to her original, "hometown" persona a major surprise for Charlie Diggs. Charlie is much more than a New York square learning to loosen up under Lulu's influence. Beginning as the patsy in an erotic farce, he proves himself eager to adapt to Lulu/Audrey's sense of passion and freedom. Charlie volunteers to take Audrey to her high school reunion, that ritual where former classmates compare one another's chosen "adult" identities. Something Wild's reunion promises an optimistic future for Audrey, if she can escape the mistakes of her past. The scene provides an interesting contrast with the bittersweet school reunion in Francis Coppola's nostalgic fantasy Peggy Sue Got Married, made the same year. The film's most memorable jolt occurs when Ray Sinclair reveals himself to be a dangerous criminal with an unwelcome claim on Audrey. We immediately realize why Audrey took off for a new life in New York. Cuffed about and ditched by the roadside, the comparatively defenseless Charlie rises to the occasion. In a tense face-to-face confrontation he outsmarts the borderline-psychotic Ray... temporarily. What began as a carefree sex romp has somehow morphed into a violent, brutal thriller. As Charlie fights for his life, we share his panic: "How did I get here?" Demme's casting acumen couldn't be bettered. Melanie Griffith began as a teenager in edgy roles in The Harrad Experiment and Arthur Penn's moody Night Moves, and had recently played in Brian De Palma's erotic thriller Body Double. Jeff Daniels' Charlie is a safe-playing business cog overly concerned with maintaining appearances. We share Charlie's delight as he lets himself go at the dance and plays the open-minded nice guy with the initially charming Ray. Even more importantly, Charlie becomes a worthy nerd-hero when it comes time to win back the girl of his dreams. He sticks his neck way out for Audrey, taking risks and trusting in his own ability to out-think the menacing Ray. Ray Liotta is the film's big surprise. Jonathan Demme knew he had found the right actor at the walk-on audition, when Liotta projected a genuinely intimidating aura of danger. The actor intimidates the audience as well. His Ray Sinclair is a serious sexual threat, whose aggressive smile and insistent jokes mask a deep inner rage. Audrey and Charlie have been play-acting dangerous games, but Ray really means business; the dynamics of this wild threesome generate a powerful spell. The impressive Liotta would find an even better showcase for his combination of charm and malice in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. Something Wild balances its heavy drama with a time-capsule snapshot of America in 1986. Roadside establishments yield scores of interesting and often helpful characters, from a suspicious motorcycle cop (John Sayles) to a sleazy used car salesman (John Waters). Charles and Lulu give a ride to a diverse group of hitchhikers. Charlie Diggs receives midnight advice from a philosophical man he bumps into at a motel (Jim Roche, an art teacher found on location). A giggly teenaged girl inadvertently helps Ray Sinclair out of a tight spot with the police. Everybody gets their say -- motel clerks, convenience store cashiers, even a pair of opinionated old ladies in a used clothing store. Director Demme's lively music choices are also worthy of note. An overlay of upbeat "world music" cues comments on Lulu's exotic allure. Composers Laurie Anderson and John Cale contribute one conventional soundtrack cue each, and various alternative rock songs cover the rest of the picture. The title theme is carried by the old '60s standby Wild Thing, both as audio sourced from a car radio and as a cute musical finale for the film's trippy credit roll, sung and danced by 'Sister' Carol East. Something Wild lives up to its promise: the adventures of its failed yuppie and unstable adventuress are original, unpredictable and wildly attractive. Criterion's Blu-ray of Something Wild features a bright and colorful widescreen HD transfer supervised by Tak Fujimoto and approved by the director. The stereophonic audio track brings out every nuance of the film's detailed mix, including odd music cues buried in the background ambience. Disc producer Curtis Tsui's excellent making-of featurette is built around a candid interview with Jonathan Demme. The director's enthusiastic explanation of the circumstances that led to Something Wild includes his previous disaster with the studio-controlled Swing Shift. Demme expresses his avid interest in musicians, actors and other creative people, and points out how some local non-pro actors were given mid-shoot promotions to larger roles. In addition to the abovementioned Jim Roche, two of the dancing extras for the reunion scene were so good that they inspired an uninhibited dance moment for Charlie Diggs. Screenwriter E. Max Frye is also made the subject of a new interview, and an original trailer is included. Critic David Thompson contributes an essay to the disc's fat insert booklet. For more information about Something Wild, visit The Criterion Collection. To order Something Wild, go to TCM Shopping. by Glenn Erickson

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Fall November 7, 1986

Began shooting March 19, 1986.

Released in United States Fall November 7, 1986