The Info List - Written On The Wind

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Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
is a 1956 American Technicolor
drama film directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone. The screenplay by George Zuckerman was based on Robert Wilder's 1945 novel of the same name, a thinly disguised account of the real-life scandal involving torch singer Libby Holman
Libby Holman
and her husband, tobacco heir Zachary Smith Reynolds. Zuckerman shifted the locale from North Carolina to Texas, made the source of the family wealth oil rather than tobacco, and changed all the characters' names.


1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production notes 4 Critical reception

4.1 Upon release 4.2 Modern criticism

5 Awards and nominations 6 Bibliography 7 See also 8 References 9 External links

Plot[edit] Self-destructive, alcoholic nymphomaniac Marylee (Dorothy Malone) and her insecure, alcoholic playboy brother Kyle (Robert Stack) are the children of Texas
oil baron Jasper Hadley (Robert Keith). Spoiled by their inherited wealth and crippled by their personal demons, neither is able to sustain a personal relationship. Problems ensue after Kyle's impulsive marriage to New York City executive secretary Lucy Moore (Lauren Bacall), who becomes a steadying influence to his life through the first few months after they meet. Kyle resumes drinking after being unsuccessful in fathering a baby. He turns against his childhood friend, Marylee's long-time infatuation, Mitch Wayne (Rock Hudson), a geologist for the oil company. Kyle's anger and depression grow after the death of his father, who admired Mitch but was disgusted with the behavior of his two heirs. Mitch is secretly in love with Lucy. He keeps these feelings private until Kyle, having been diagnosed with a low sperm count, physically assaults Lucy when she announces her pregnancy, wrongly assuming it to be the result of adultery with Mitch. Lucy's fall results in a miscarriage. Mitch vows to leave town with her as soon as she's well enough to travel. On his return, a drunken Kyle recovers a hidden pistol and intends to shoot Mitch. Marylee struggles with her brother for the weapon, but it accidentally fires, killing him. Repeatedly spurned by the man she claims to love, a spiteful Marylee threatens to implicate Mitch in Kyle's death. At the inquest, she first testifies that he killed her sibling. But she tearfully redeems herself at the last second by admitting the truth. Mitch and Lucy depart, leaving Marylee to mourn the death of her brother and run the company alone. Cast[edit]

Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson
as Mitch Wayne Lauren Bacall
Lauren Bacall
as Lucy Moore Hadley Robert Stack
Robert Stack
as Kyle Hadley Dorothy Malone
Dorothy Malone
as Marylee Hadley Robert Keith as Jasper Hadley Grant Williams
Grant Williams
as Biff Miley Edward Platt
Edward Platt
as Dr. Paul Cochrane Robert J. Wilke
Robert J. Wilke
as Dan Willis Harry Shannon as Hoak Wayne John Larch
John Larch
as Roy Carter Joseph Granby as Judge R.J. Courtney Roy Glenn
Roy Glenn
as Sam Maidie Norman
Maidie Norman
as Bertha William Schallert
William Schallert
as Jack Williams—Reporter Joanne Jordan
Joanne Jordan
as Brunette

Production notes[edit] Dorothy Malone, a brunette previously best known as the brainy bespectacled bookstore clerk in a scene with Humphrey Bogart
Humphrey Bogart
in The Big Sleep (1946), had more recently played small supporting roles in a long string of B movies. For this film she dyed her hair platinum blonde in order to shed her "nice girl" image in portraying the obsessive Marylee Hadley. Her Oscar-winning performance finally gave her cachet in the film industry.

Dorothy Malone
Dorothy Malone
attempts to seduce Rock Hudson
Rock Hudson
in a scene from Written on the Wind.

Sirk and cinematographer Russell Metty
Russell Metty
worked together six times prior to this film. He helped perfect the light and color effects associated with Sirk's films. Lauren Bacall, whose film career was foundering, accepted the relatively non-flashy role of Lucy Moore at the behest of her husband Humphrey Bogart. At the same time she was shooting Wind, she was preparing for a television adaptation of Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit, co-starring Coward and Claudette Colbert. In 2005, she accepted the Frontier Award on behalf of the film from the Austin Film Society, which annually makes inductions into the Texas
Film Hall of Fame recognizing actors, directors, screenwriters, filmmakers, and films from, influenced by, or inspired by the Lone Star State. Stack felt the primary reason he lost the Oscar to Anthony Quinn (whose winning performance in Lust for Life was less than ten minutes long) was that 20th Century Fox, which had loaned him to Universal-International, organized block voting against him to prevent one of its contract players from winning an acting award while working at another studio.[4] The title song, written by Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn
and Victor Young, was sung by The Four Aces
The Four Aces
during the opening credits. The film's score was composed by Frank Skinner. This was the sixth of eight films Douglas Sirk made with Rock Hudson, and the most successful. Sirk reunited key cast members Hudson, Stack and Malone for The Tarnished Angels
The Tarnished Angels
(1957), his film about early aviators based upon William Faulkner's novel Pylon. This title was one of the very few "flat wide screen" (FWS) titles to be printed "direct to matrix" by Technicolor. This specially ordered 35mm printing process was intended to maintain the highest possible print quality, as well as protecting the negative. Other notable examples of such FWS printing by Technicolor
includes Giant (1956). Critical reception[edit]

Dorothy Malone

Upon release[edit] In his review in The New York Times
The New York Times
upon the initial release of the film, Bosley Crowther said, "The trouble with this romantic picture ... is that nothing really happens, the complications within the characters are never clear and the sloppy, self-pitying fellow at the center of the whole thing is a bore".[5] Modern criticism[edit] In 1998, Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
of the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
called it "a perverse and wickedly funny melodrama in which you can find the seeds of Dallas, Dynasty, and all the other prime-time soaps. Sirk is the one who established their tone, in which shocking behavior is treated with passionate solemnity, while parody burbles beneath ... To appreciate a film like Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
probably takes more sophistication than to understand one of Ingmar Bergman's masterpieces, because Bergman's themes are visible and underlined, while with Sirk the style conceals the message. His interiors are wildly over the top, and his exteriors are phony - he wants you to notice the artifice, to see that he's not using realism but an exaggerated Hollywood studio style ... Films like this are both above and below middle-brow taste. If you only see the surface, it's trashy soap opera. If you can see the style, the absurdity, the exaggeration and the satirical humor, it's subversive of all the 1950s dramas that handled such material solemnly. William Inge and Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
were taken with great seriousness during the decade, but Sirk kids their Freudian hysteria".[6] TV Guide
TV Guide
describes the film as "the ultimate in lush melodrama," "Douglas Sirk's finest directorial effort," and "one of the most notable critiques of the American family ever made".[7] Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
(Malone, winner) Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
(Stack, nominee) Academy Award for Best Song (nominee) Golden Globe
Golden Globe
for Best Supporting Actress (Malone, nominee)


Evans, William: Written on the Wind: London: BFI/Palgrave Macmillan: 2013

See also[edit]

Film portal

List of American films of 1956


^ Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
at the American Film Institute Catalog ^ British Newspaper Archive ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69 ^ " Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
(1957) - Overview - TCM.com". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 22 September 2017.  ^ Crowther, Bosley. "Movie Review : Screen: Sad Psychosis; 'Written on the Wind' Opens at Capitol". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017.  ^ Ebert, Roger. " Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
Movie Review (1956)". Rogerebert.suntimes.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017.  ^ "Written On The Wind". TVGuide.com. Retrieved 22 September 2017. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Written on the Wind.

Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
on IMDb Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
at AllMovie Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
at the TCM Movie Database Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
at the American Film Institute Catalog Essay by Laura Mulvey
Laura Mulvey
at the Criterion Collection

v t e

Films directed by Douglas Sirk

't Was één April (1936) The Court Concert
The Court Concert
(1936) To New Shores (1937) La Habanera (1937) Wilton's Zoo (1939) Hitler's Madman
Hitler's Madman
(1943) Summer Storm (1944) A Scandal in Paris
A Scandal in Paris
(1946) Lured
(1947) Sleep, My Love (1948) Shockproof
(1949) The First Legion
The First Legion
(1951) Thunder on the Hill
Thunder on the Hill
(1951) The Lady Pays Off (1951) Week-End with Father
Week-End with Father
(1951) No Room for the Groom
No Room for the Groom
(1952) Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952) Meet Me at the Fair (1953) Take Me to Town (1953) All I Desire
All I Desire
(1953) Taza, Son of Cochise
Taza, Son of Cochise
(1954) Magnificent Obsession (1954) Sign of the Pagan
Sign of the Pagan
(1954) Captain Lightfoot
Captain Lightfoot
(1955) All That Heaven Allows
All That Heaven Allows
(1955) There's Always Tomorrow (1956) Never Say Goodbye (1956) Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
(1956) Battle Hymn (1957) Interlude (1957) The Tarnished Angels
The Tarnished Angels
(1958) A Time to Love and a Time to Die
A Time to Love and a Time to Die
(1958) Imitation of Life (1959)

v t e

Films of Albert Zugsmith

As director

The Private Lives of Adam and Eve
The Private Lives of Adam and Eve
(1960) College Confidential (1960) Sex Kittens Go to College
Sex Kittens Go to College
(1960) Dondi (1961) Confessions of an Opium Eater
Confessions of an Opium Eater
(1962) The Great Space Adventure (1963) When Strangers Meet (1964) Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure (1964) The Incredible Sex Revolution (1965) Psychedelic Sexualis (1966) (uncredited) Movie Star, American Style or; LSD, I Hate You (1966) The Chinese Room (1968) Two Roses and a Golden Rod (1969) The Very Friendly Neighbors (1969) The Phantom Gunslinger
The Phantom Gunslinger
(1970) Violated! (1974)

As producer only

Captive Women
Captive Women
(1952) (assoc) Invasion U.S.A. (1952) Sword of Venus
Sword of Venus
(1953) (assoc) Port Sinister (1953) (assoc) Paris Model (1953) Top Banana (1954) Female on the Beach
Female on the Beach
(1955) The Square Jungle
The Square Jungle
(1955) Red Sundown (1956) Raw Edge
Raw Edge
(1956) Star in the Dust
Star in the Dust
(1956) Written on the Wind
Written on the Wind
(1956) The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Incredible Shrinking Man
(1957) The Tattered Dress
The Tattered Dress
(1957) The Girl in the Kremlin
The Girl in the Kremlin
(1957) Man in the Shadow (1957) Slaughter on Tenth Avenue (1957) The Tarnished Angels
The Tarnished Angels
(1957) The Female Animal (1958) Touch of Evil
Touch of Evil
(1958) High School Confidential (1958) Night of the Quarter Moon
Night of the Quarter Moon
(1959) The Beat Generation
The Beat Generation
(1959) The Big Operator (1959) Girls Town
Girls Town
(1959) Platinum High School (1960) Zig Zag (1963) Sappho Darling (1968)

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 224404564 GND: 7586811-8 SUDOC: 177247746 BNF: