Cast & Crew
When Gino, a wealthy but lonely sheep rancher in Nevada, decides to marry his deceased wife's sister Gioia, she emigrates from Italy and immediately moves into her new husband's home. Gino's brother Alberto, sister-in-law Teresa, twenty-one-year-old daughter Angie and Bene, a Basque sheepherder whom Gino treats as an adopted son, welcome Gioia into the home with kindness and understanding. Gino, who is used to exerting control over people, however, soon begins to criticize her for speaking Italian and for not being more like her sister. Several months after Gioia's arrival, she accompanies Gino and Bene on a tour of the rancher's property. From the jeep, Gino sees a herd of wild horses grazing on his land, and when he pulls out a rifle to kill one of them, Gioia approaches the animal and cautions it to run away. Deeply moved by the sight of the magnificent horses, Gioia asks Gino if she might have one, but when he later ropes a horse to the ground for her, she is horrified and begs him to set the beast free. Exasperated, Gino knocks her down, and Bene, bending over her to calm her down, looks into her eyes and then, embarrassed, backs away. Later Teresa and Gioia argue about who should run the household, and Gioia complains that she has nothing to do. Soon after, Gioia tries to break the wild horse herself. When the horse rears over her, Bene leaps over the fence, protectively backs Gioia into a corner, and impulsively kisses her. Shocked, Gioia slaps him and then wanders away in a daze. A week later, Gino has an elaborate birthday party for Gioia, but after Gino, raising his glass to toast his wife, calls her by her dead sister's name, Gioia, highly offended, locks him out of their bedroom. Gino, unaware of his blunder, angrily departs for Boston to visit Angie at college. While Gino is away, the lambing season begins, and after Bene and Gioia help the hired hands to deliver the little animals, Bene follows Gioia into the barn and kisses her passionately. The lovers meet often during the following weeks, and on the night before Gino comes home, Gioia visits Bene in his room. The next morning, Teresa, who knows about the affair, confronts Gioia, who defiantly declares that Bene loves her and that the two of them plan to tell Gino and go away together. Gioia finds Bene tending the sheep and the couple embraces just as Gino walks over the hill. Gino strikes Bene and accuses him of betrayal, whereupon Bene, deeply ashamed, declares that he can no longer bear to look at Gioia. Bene leaves the ranch, and Gioia, realizing that her lover has abandoned her, prepares to return to Italy. Before driving her to the airport, Alberto tries to convince Gino that in trying to force Gioia to assume his dead wife's personality, he has never given Gioia a chance to be herself. Gino angrily orders his brother from the house, but later, finds Gioia at the airport and asks her forgiveness. After Gino declares his love for Gioia, she takes his hand, and the two return home.
Robert R. Stephenson
John P. Fulton
Joseph H. Hazen
Charles Lang Jr.
D. Michael Moore
Vittorio Nino Novarese
Wild is the Wind
Interestingly, Cukor had himself just walked away from a prestigious directing assignment. Originally tapped to helm MGM's adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), which the studio had bought for Elizabeth Taylor, Cukor excused himself when the studio ordered extensive rewrites of the play's third act to omit any allusion to homosexuality. Although the great American outdoors was not Cukor's natural metier, he accepted the challenge of taking on Wild Is the Wind (1957) and was eager to work with Anna Magnani and her American costars Anthony Quinn (in the Rossano Brazzi role) and Tony Franciosa. The sixteen-week production was often turbulent, with the "perversely unpredictable" Magnani (in Cukor's words) arriving late to the Nevada location, where she attempted to break the ice by challenging cast and crew to a game of "truth," demanding to know deeply personal secrets. The game chased Cukor out of the room and prompted virginal Dolores Hart (who eventually quit Hollywood to become a nun) to confess that she wanted to sleep with Quinn. Distressed over her wardrobe for the film, La Magnani held up shooting for two days by refusing to leave her rented cabin, the walls of which were stained with marinara sauce from many a thrown plate of spaghetti, collateral damage from the fiery actress' torrid love affair with Franciosa (who had just divorced his first wife to marry actress Shelley Winters).
Wild Is the Wind was not lucky at the Oscar® ball, though Magnani and Quinn would both earn nominations. Quinn had previously taken statuettes as a supporting player in Viva Zapata! (1952) and Lust for Life (1956) and would be nominated again for "Best Actor" as Zorba the Greek (1964) in 1965. Anna Magnani and George Cukor planned to work together again on Two Women (1960) but Magnani ultimately balked at the casting of statuesque Sophia Loren as her onscreen daughter. (The film was eventually made by Vittorio de Sica, with Loren playing the mother and winning an Oscar® for it.)
After the disastrous reception of Sidney Lumet's The Fugitive Kind (1959), an adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending in which she was teamed with Marlon Brando, Magnani returned to her native Italy. She made only six more feature films (among them Pasolini's Mamma Roma in 1962) before her untimely death from pancreatic cancer in 1973. Also nominated for their work on Wild Is the Wind were composer Dimitri Tiomkin and lyricist Ned Washington for their title song. Snubbed at Oscar® time was Tony Franciosa, a nominee the previous year for his role in A Hatful of Rain (1956), which he had originated on Broadway and for which he had received a Tony Award nomination in 1956.
Producer: Hal B. Wallis
Director: George Cukor
Screenplay: Arnold Schulman, Vittorio Nino Novarese (novel "Furia")
Cinematography: Charles Lang
Art Direction: Tambi Larsen and Hal Pereira
Music: Dimitri Tiomkin
Film Editing: Warren Low
Cast: Anna Magnani (Gioia), Anthony Quinn (Gino), Anthony Franciosa (Bene), Joseph Calleia (Alberto), Dolores Hart (Angela "Angie"), Lili Valenty (Teresa).
by Richard Harland Smith
The Films of Anthony Quinn by Alvin H. Marill
George Cukor Interviews by Jeff Wise and Robert Smith
George Cukor, Master of Elegance: Hollywood's Legendary Director and His Stars by Emanuel Levy
George Cukor: A Double Life by Patrick McGilligan
Wild is the Wind
The working titles of this film were Furia, The Obsessed, Obsession and A Woman Obsessed. According to a February 1954 Hollywood Reporter news item, producer Raymond Strauss purchased the rights to remake the 1946 film Furia, based on an original story by Vittorio Nino Novarese. Strauss intended to star Ann Sheridan in the project, but it was never made. According to a October 30, 1957 Daily Variety news story, producer Hal Wallis signed Anna Magnani to star in a film on her condition that it would be a remake of Furia, which starred Isa Pola and Rossano Brazzi, and was directed by Magnani's then-husband, Goffredo Alessandrini. Wallis showed the film to a number of screenwriters, including Arnold Schulman, who wrote the final screenplay, but none of the resulting scripts were acceptable to Wallis. According to a May 1956 Hollywood Reporter news item, Eugene Frenke, who owned a screenplay by Philip Yordan based on Furia, signed a deal with Wallis to produce the film starring Magnani. It is not known if Frenke was involved with the final film, however.
Schulman, in the October 1957 Daily Variety news story, stated that he later presented an original idea to Wallis, which bore no similarity to Furia in "line of dialogue, incident or character," and that the original idea became the basis for Wild Is the Wind. Although Schulman's subsequent contract stated that he would adapt Furia, Wallis, in January 1957, publicly stated that Magnani would not appear in Furia, and that Schulman's work was an original screenplay. Following production, Wallis submitted credits for the film to Paramount, the distributor, listing Schulman with original screenplay; however, Paramount's legal department, recalling Wallis' original contract with Magnani, required that one of the writers of Furia be given credit to protect themselves.
Wallis then encouraged Schulman to ask the Screen Writers Guild (SWG) to arbitrate. Information in the film's file at the AMPAS Library states that the SWG decided that because there had been source material, a credit reading "Based on a story by Vittorio Nino Novarese" should be given to the Italian writer of the original story, and that Schulman should be credited with screen story and screenplay. The AMPAS Library information also states that Novarese's name was dropped from the advertising. A summary of the Italian film reveals that the plot of the earlier film does bear some resemblance to that of Wild Is the Wind, in that the Italian film deals with an extra-marital affair between the wife of a horse breeder and her husband's groom.
John Sturges was originally hired to direct Wild Is the Wind; however, on March 25, 1957, a week before shooting was scheduled to begin, he withdrew from the project due to illness, according to contemporary news items. George Cukor, who took over direction, stated in a modern interview that Sturges left the project to replace Fred Zinnemann on The Old Man and the Sea. A biography on Cukor states that Sturges left when it became apparent that the film would be more of a love story than an action picture. According to contemporary sources, most of the exteriors were shot on a sheep ranch in Gardnerville and Carson City, NV, and some shooting was done at the Reno airport in Nevada. The film's Los Angeles premiere was a charity benefit for City of Hope.
Daily Variety reported in January 1958 that Paramount protested the "adults only" ruling of the Chicago censor, which ordered the designation because of the scenes showing the birth of a lamb, and of "Gioia" walking into "Bene's" bedroom. According to a February 1958 item in Hollywood Reporter's "Rambling Reporter" column, Wallis cut the bedroom scene so that the Chicago censor would withdraw the ruling, and on March 20, 1958, Hollywood Reporter noted that the adults only restriction had been lifted.
In his autobiography, Wallis stated that Bill Gray was the production manager. Wild Is the Wind marked the feature film debut of European stage actress Lili Valenty (1900-1987). The popular title song, sung by Johnny Mathis, was nominated for an Academy Award. According to February and March 1958 Hollywood Reporter news items, Mathis was to sing the song during the Oscar ceremony, and it was to be the first time that all of the singers who "made the songs Oscar contenders [would] actually perform them on the show." According to AMPAS records, however, not all of the singers who performed the nominated songs for the films appeared during the ceremony. Magnani and Anthony Quinn received Academy Award nominations for their performances. Magnani also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama, and the film received a nomination for Best Hollywood-produced Picture-Drama.
Released in United States 1958
Released in United States Winter December 1957
Shown at the 1958 Berlin International Film Festival.
Released in United States 1958 (Shown at the 1958 Berlin International Film Festival.)
Released in United States Winter December 1957