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Written on the Wind - Criterion Collection

1 rating: 4.0
Classics and Drama movie directed by Douglas Sirk

Douglas Sirk puts theoperaback intosoap operain this exquisitely baroque melodrama, the epitome of Technicolor gloss. Rock Hudson (as wonderfully wooden as ever) and Lauren Bacall play stalwart examples of altruism, clean living, and good old American … see full wiki

Director: Douglas Sirk
Genre: Classics, Drama
1 review about Written on the Wind - Criterion Collection

one of Sirk's best

  • Jan 9, 2010
Rating:
+4
Kyle Hadley: I'll kill him!
Marylee Hadley: A whiskey bottle's about all you'd kill.

How ironic that Douglas Sirk, a German-born director, came to be synonymous with capturing what we now regard as the quintessential Technicolor-soaked "American look" in his series of 1950s screen melodramas. WRITTEN ON THE WIND (1956) is one of the best from this master filmmaker.

Based on the novel by Robert Wilder, WRITTEN ON THE WIND is the story of the Texas oil-rich Hadley clan. When Kyle Hadley (Robert Stack) impulsively marries his father's latest secretary Lucy Moore (Lauren Bacall), everything seems happy enough; yet Kyle hides a catalogue of fears and anxieties from a life spent in his father's imposing shadow, going so far as to sleep with a gun under his pillow. When Kyle suspects his best friend Mitch Wayne (Rock Hudson) of carrying on an affair with Lucy--a rumour embellished by Kyle's outrageous, nympho sister Marylee (Dorothy Malone)--he reaches the breaking point...

Fine performances all around in arguably one of Douglas Sirk's most audacious movies. Sirk favourite Rock Hudson is especially impressive, and Robert Stack gives one of his most vulnerable performances as Kyle. Dorothy Malone won the 'Best Supporting Actress' Academy Award for her scene-chewing role of Marylee. In contrast to Malone, Lauren Bacall can't help fading into the background but still manages to hold her own in the scenes with Stack.

Sirk clearly enjoyed the particular star dynamic of Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack, who'd all be reunited in his "Tarnished Angels" two years later, playing another stormy love triangle.

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"one of Sirk's best"
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