The Wild and the Innocent


1h 24m 1959
The Wild and the Innocent

Brief Synopsis

A young mountaineer gets his first taste of city life.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Buckskin Kid and the Calico Gal, The Wild Innocents
Genre
Comedy
Western
Release Date
May 1959
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Big Bear, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Upon completing their annual fur-trapping expedition, Lije Hawks, his wife Kiri and nephew Yancy travel homeward through the mountains of Wyoming. Lije is at first pleased to come upon a group of neighbors, but grows angry when he learns that they are giving up the difficult life of fur trading in favor of farming in California. Although Lije disparages farming and extols the freedom of the trapper's life, at their campsite that night he gives Yancy permission to farm, if he wants to earn enough money to marry. Aghast at the thought of leaving his family, Yancy gratifies Lije by vowing to pursue only a woman who also loves their lifestyle. Soon after, Lije is attacked by a bear. Yancy and Kiri fear for his life, but by morning he is as feisty as ever and instructs Yancy to trade the furs for supplies at Ogilvie's Trading Post. When Yancy arrives there, however, he discovers that the local Indians, inflamed by bootleg liquor, have accidentally set fire to the post, and Ogilvie is in the process of beating up Ben Stocker, the vagabond who sold the liquor to them. Yancy rescues Stocker but is chagrined to learn that the nearest trade area is in Casper, a two-day ride. As he prepares to camp for the night, Stocker, a con man with eight filthy children, eyes the furs and greedily offers to trade them for his eldest daughter Rosalie. Disgusted, Yancy chases Stocker off, but as he has guessed, during the night the drifter attempts to rob him. Although Yancy succeeds in scaring him away, in the morning he awakens to find Rosalie beside him. She explains that she has fled her father, and even though Yancy does not want the burden of caring for her, her wordless appeal persuades him to take her along to Casper. They reach the city, the largest either has ever seen, during the annual Independence Day celebration. The couple's provincial clothing elicits jeers from the locals, especially rowdy ranchhand Chip, who picks a fight with Yancy. After Yancy easily overpowers him, Chip aims a gun at him, but is stopped by Sheriff Paul Bartel, the owner of the town dance hall. Eager to leave, Yancy brings his furs to the general store, where proprietor Mrs. Forbes insists that her husband Cecil forgo the revelries outside in order to bilk Yancy of as much money as possible. Dance hall girl Marcy Howard enters the store, and an entranced Yancy, not comprehending that her job is akin to prostitution, decides to stay in Casper to woo her. He buys new clothes for himself and Rosalie, and after they change, she is thrilled at his transformation but he still fails to note her beauty. Dance hall manager Ma Ransome, tipped off by Paul, then arrives to offer Rosalie a position. The innocent Yancy turns Rosalie over to Ma and leaves for the fair, where Rosalie finds him and begs him to protect her from her new position. After insisting that he is not responsible for her, Yancy causes a commotion by fighting with a barker who swindles $100 from him. Paul, at the fair with Marcy, once again breaks up the fight, after which Yancy eagerly leaves Rosalie in Paul's care and approaches Marcy. She, however, is angry to see Paul leave with Rosalie, and spurns Yancy in favor of drinking with Chip, who abandons her when she passes out on the outskirts of the fairgrounds. Yancy tends to Marcy all day, and when she revives, she is charmed by his tenderness and gallantry. The sun sets, signaling the start of the dance. Yancy manages to convince Marcy to join him on the dance floor, but as she has expected, the townspeople are outraged to see her there. When Chip starts a fight with Yancy over Marcy, the locals protest her presence, and Yancy finally realizes Marcy's profession. He is further disheartened when he proposes to her and discovers that she prefers to stay in Casper rather than leave with him. Suddenly aware that he has abandoned Rosalie to the same fate, Yancy rushes to the dance hall, heedless of Cecil's warning that Paul will not accept any interference. Meanwhile, Paul has instructed Ma to outfit Rosalie as a prostitute, and is delighted with the result. At a private dinner, he tries to persuade the young girl that he will protect her and hopes that she will renew his faith in women, whom he considers coldblooded. Yancy appears downstairs, but, upon being thrown out by Paul's guards, calls to Paul from the street. Paul hides in the shadows on the balcony and urges Yancy to give up, drawing his gun as he speaks. Just as Paul shoots, Yancy leaps to the side and fires back, wounding Paul. The sheriff falls to the street, where he apologizes to Rosalie, then dies. Days later, Yancy prepares to leave Casper. The Forbeses, who have taken in Rosalie, ask him to stay to finish cleaning up the town, but Yancy yearns to return to Lije and Kiri. When Rosalie follows him to his horse, Yancy dismisses her roughly, but cannot resist her intent gaze. Soon after, the Hawks family, which now includes Rosalie, happily sets out again toward home.

Film Details

Also Known As
The Buckskin Kid and the Calico Gal, The Wild Innocents
Genre
Comedy
Western
Release Date
May 1959
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Universal-International Pictures Co., Inc.
Distribution Company
Universal Pictures Co., Inc.
Country
United States
Location
Big Bear, California, United States

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 24m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

The Wild and the Innocent


The theatrical poster for The Wild and the Innocent (1959) had Audie Murphy declaring "I ain't never killed a man...or had a drink of whiskey...or kissed a fancy woman...but I'm willing to try...one at a time or all together." This western comedy promised to be "the wild and wonderful story of the exciting young frontier!" The only one who could be described as "young" in the film was sixteen-year-old Sandra Dee, paired with the thirty-five-year-old Murphy. Also in the cast were Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland, Jim Backus, Peter Breck, and Strother Martin.

After his uncle is injured, backwoods mountain trapper Yancy Hawks (Murphy) travels to a trading post to sell furs to help the family, only to find that it has been burned down by Indians drunk on booze sold by a down-on-his-luck bum named Stocker (Martin). Stocker has eight dirty children to feed, and offers to sell his oldest daughter Rosalie (Dee) to Yancy in exchange for furs, which Yancy refuses. Rosalie runs away, but returns in the morning to ask Yancy to take her with him to the next big city, Casper, Wyoming. The unlikely pair arrives during the 4th of July celebration, where they are mocked for their hick appearance. Yancy falls for dance hall girl Marcy Howard (Dru) while Rosalie is given work in Sheriff Paul Bartell's (Roland) saloon, but her real job is revealed to be more than just serving drinks to customers. When Yancy learns the truth about Bartell's designs on Rosalie, he must decide whether to save her or leave her to her fate.

Under the working titles of The Buckskin Kid and the Calico Gal and The Wild Innocents, the film was directed by Jack Sher from a screenplay he co-wrote with first-time film producer Sy Gomberg. The Wild and the Innocent was shot in less than a month, from early October to November 13, 1958 at both the Universal Studios back lot and on location at the Big Bear ski resort in the San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles, where the cinematographers took advantage of the equipment by placing cameras on ski lifts in order to create tracking shots. This was actor Peter Breck's third film and his first time working with the cast. He later remembered, "Audie and I were friendly - as much as Audie would let people in to be his friend. He was very guarded. [...] At times watching Audie, I thought he was uncomfortable. [The role] was silly, and he didn't want 'silly.' [...] Sandra Dee was very quiet and withdrawn. I had a good role, a very loud, boisterous type of guy, and I don't think she was ready for that kind of atmosphere around her. [...] She and Audie worked well together." Murphy must have enjoyed working with Dee; he gave her a rag doll that resembled her character in the film, with makeup and wardrobe done by the Universal staff.

Although the film did not do well at the box office, Breck thought it did good things for his career "and for a lot of others who were in it. Jack Sher [would later direct] episodes of Gilligan's Island with Jim Backus." Although Murphy's film career was at the beginning of its decline, Sandra Dee's was on the ascent. She was about to star in Gidget (1959), go off to Italy to make Come September (1961), and marry singer Bobby Darin. But, in only a few years, her career would begin its own decline as audience tastes - and society itself - changed drastically in the late 1960s.

By Lorraine LoBianco
SOURCES:

http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/DetailView.aspx?s=&Movie=53061
The Internet Movie Database
Larkins, Bob and Magers, Boyd The Films of Audie Murphy
O'Leary, Dorothy "Hollywood Love Life " Screenland Plus TV-Land May 1959.
Rowan, Terry The American Western A Complete Film Guide
The Wild And The Innocent

The Wild and the Innocent

The theatrical poster for The Wild and the Innocent (1959) had Audie Murphy declaring "I ain't never killed a man...or had a drink of whiskey...or kissed a fancy woman...but I'm willing to try...one at a time or all together." This western comedy promised to be "the wild and wonderful story of the exciting young frontier!" The only one who could be described as "young" in the film was sixteen-year-old Sandra Dee, paired with the thirty-five-year-old Murphy. Also in the cast were Joanne Dru, Gilbert Roland, Jim Backus, Peter Breck, and Strother Martin. After his uncle is injured, backwoods mountain trapper Yancy Hawks (Murphy) travels to a trading post to sell furs to help the family, only to find that it has been burned down by Indians drunk on booze sold by a down-on-his-luck bum named Stocker (Martin). Stocker has eight dirty children to feed, and offers to sell his oldest daughter Rosalie (Dee) to Yancy in exchange for furs, which Yancy refuses. Rosalie runs away, but returns in the morning to ask Yancy to take her with him to the next big city, Casper, Wyoming. The unlikely pair arrives during the 4th of July celebration, where they are mocked for their hick appearance. Yancy falls for dance hall girl Marcy Howard (Dru) while Rosalie is given work in Sheriff Paul Bartell's (Roland) saloon, but her real job is revealed to be more than just serving drinks to customers. When Yancy learns the truth about Bartell's designs on Rosalie, he must decide whether to save her or leave her to her fate. Under the working titles of The Buckskin Kid and the Calico Gal and The Wild Innocents, the film was directed by Jack Sher from a screenplay he co-wrote with first-time film producer Sy Gomberg. The Wild and the Innocent was shot in less than a month, from early October to November 13, 1958 at both the Universal Studios back lot and on location at the Big Bear ski resort in the San Bernardino mountains east of Los Angeles, where the cinematographers took advantage of the equipment by placing cameras on ski lifts in order to create tracking shots. This was actor Peter Breck's third film and his first time working with the cast. He later remembered, "Audie and I were friendly - as much as Audie would let people in to be his friend. He was very guarded. [...] At times watching Audie, I thought he was uncomfortable. [The role] was silly, and he didn't want 'silly.' [...] Sandra Dee was very quiet and withdrawn. I had a good role, a very loud, boisterous type of guy, and I don't think she was ready for that kind of atmosphere around her. [...] She and Audie worked well together." Murphy must have enjoyed working with Dee; he gave her a rag doll that resembled her character in the film, with makeup and wardrobe done by the Universal staff. Although the film did not do well at the box office, Breck thought it did good things for his career "and for a lot of others who were in it. Jack Sher [would later direct] episodes of Gilligan's Island with Jim Backus." Although Murphy's film career was at the beginning of its decline, Sandra Dee's was on the ascent. She was about to star in Gidget (1959), go off to Italy to make Come September (1961), and marry singer Bobby Darin. But, in only a few years, her career would begin its own decline as audience tastes - and society itself - changed drastically in the late 1960s. By Lorraine LoBianco SOURCES: http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/DetailView.aspx?s=&Movie=53061 The Internet Movie Database Larkins, Bob and Magers, Boyd The Films of Audie Murphy O'Leary, Dorothy "Hollywood Love Life " Screenland Plus TV-Land May 1959. Rowan, Terry The American Western A Complete Film Guide

Sandra Dee, 1944-2005


For a brief, quicksilver period of the early '60s, Sandra Dee was the quintessential sweet, perky, All-American girl, and films such as Gidget and Tammy Tell Me True only reinforced the image that young audiences identified with on the screen. Tragically, Ms. Dee died on February 20 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease, and had developed pneumonia. She was 60.

She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin.

Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide.

Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart.

Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years.

The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977).

Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia.

by Michael T. Toole

Sandra Dee, 1944-2005

For a brief, quicksilver period of the early '60s, Sandra Dee was the quintessential sweet, perky, All-American girl, and films such as Gidget and Tammy Tell Me True only reinforced the image that young audiences identified with on the screen. Tragically, Ms. Dee died on February 20 at Los Robles Hospital and Medical Center in Thousand Oaks. She had been hospitalized for the last two weeks for treatment of kidney disease, and had developed pneumonia. She was 60. She was born Alexandra Cymboliak Zuck on April 23, 1944 (conflicting sources give 1942, but the actual birth year has been verified by the family) in Bayonne, New Jersey. She was abandoned by her father by age five, and her mother, Mary Douvan, lied about Sandra's age so that she could put her in school and get a job. She was only five when she entered the 2nd grade. Mature for her age, Sandra's mother kept the lie going when she began her modeling career. With her fetching blonde curls and pretty face, Dee found herself moving up quickly on the modeling ladder. By the time she was 10, she was one of the top child models in the country, and by age 13, she met producer Ross Hunter, who signed her to a seven-year contract for Universal. She had her named changed to Sandra Dee (a stage name combining her shortened first name and using her stepfather's surname initial D to sign vouchers) and made her film debut in Until They Sail (1957), starring Joan Fontaine, John Gavin. Her next film, The Reluctant Debutante, a bubbly romantic comedy with Rex Harrison, Kay Kendall and John Saxon, proved Dee to be adept in light comedy. Yet she would prove her versatility as a performer the following year - 1959, when she scored in the three biggest films of the year:A Summer Place, a brooding melodrama with fellow teen-heartthrob, Troy Donohue; Imitation of Life, a glossy, Ross Hunter sudser; and of course Gidget, the archetypical, sand and surf movie. By the dawn of the '60s, Sandra Dee mania ruled the movie fanzines worldwide. Her personal life took a surprising turn when she hooked up with singer Bobby Darin. She met Darin in 1960 in Portofino, Italy, where they were both cast in Come September with Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida as the older romantic couple. They eventually married and she gave birth to a son, Dodd Mitchell Darin in 1961. All the while, Dee still plugged away with a series of hit films over the next few years: Romanoff and Juliet a charming satirical comedy directed by Peter Ustinoff; Tammy Tell Me True with John Gavin (both 1961; If a Man Answers (1962) a surprisingly sharp comedy of manners with husband Bobby Darin; Tammy and the Doctor, another corn-fed entry that was her leading man's Peter Fonda's big break; and Take Her, She's Mine (1963), a rather strained generation-gap comedy with James Stewart. Her success was not to last. By the late `60s, as "youth culture" movies became more confrontational and less frivolous with references to open sexuality and drugs in the American landscape, Dee's career began to peter out. Her few films of that period : Rosie, and Doctor, You've Got To Be Kidding (both 1967) were pretty dreadful and were disasters at the box-office; and her divorce from Bobby Darin that same year, put a dent in her personal life, so Dee wisely took a sabbatical from the limelight for a few years. The '70s actually saw Dee improve as an actress. Although by no means a classic, her role as woman falling pray to a warlock (Dean Stockwell) who sexually and psychologically dominates her in the The Dunwich Horror (1970), was nothing short of startling. Yet despite her competency as actress, her career never regained its footing, and she appeared in only a few television movies later on: The Daughters of Joshua Cabe (1972), Fantasy Island (1977). Dee resurfaced in 1991, when she gave an interview with People magazine about her personal demons: molestation by her stepfather, anorexia, drug use and alcoholism, that had haunted her her entire life. That same year, much to the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly when she starred in a stage production of Love Letters at the Beverly Hill's Canon Theatre with her friend and former co-star, John Saxon. Since she was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000, Dee had been in and out of hospitals for her failing health. She is survived by her son Dodd; and two granddaughters -Alexa and Olivia. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

The working titles of this film were The Buckskin Kid and the Calico Gal and The Wild Innocents. The Wild and the Innocent was to be the first picture for Sy Gomberg under a new producer-writer contract with Universal, but Gomberg did not make another film for Universal and turned to television in the 1960s. According to a September 2, 1958 "Rambling Reporter" item in Hollywood Reporter, Donna Reed was considered for a starring role in the film. According to Filmfacts, some scenes were shot in Big Bear, CA. Contemporary reviews noted that, at 34, Audie Murphy was too old for the role of teenaged "Yancy Hawks."

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1959

CinemaScope

Released in United States 1959