The Wind - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wind Reviews

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Super Reviewer
March 20, 2016
The film is a staggering achievement despite the forced happy ending by the studio. The mood and atmosphere are unparalleled; they are also in total harmony with the story's symbolisms. The psychological breakdown of the heroine brings to mind that of Polanski's Repulsion and it is impressive in its characterization, especially considering that this film was made in 1928. The film stands as a proof that silent cinema had reached perfection at the time as a visual medium. Victor Sjostrom creates a world with very naturalistic performances, considering the exaggerated conventions of silent films. The actors give some of the finest performances in a silent film, managing to express the finest hues of psychological characterisation. Especially Lilian Gish is a marvel in the way her face changes from one mood to the next and her body expresses her delicacy and extreme fear. Lars Hanson is also great and very moving as her husband. This is evident in the scene, after their marriage, where Gish rejects him after spending some awkward moments together as a new couple. Sjostrom uses again superimposition here as he did in his Phantom Carriage. The effect is very powerful, poetic and horrific at the same time. According to an old Indian myth, the wind is a horse that dwells in heaven. Gish's character is haunted by this image and so will be, I believe, the viewer.
Now, coming to the ridiculous forced ending - it destroys much of the despairing tone of the film. It was a mistake obviously as almsot all studios' involvements to the creative process are; however, the happy ending is not as bad as it sounds. It may not be realistic, but it turns the film into a parable about growing up and learning to love reality (the wind). On the other hand, the fact that this reality is equated with marriage life sounds suspiciously like a propagation of American family values. No matter, the film is astounding as it is.
½ October 4, 2015
Although quite slow at times, when "The Wind" packs an emotional punch, it does so very strongly and is full of incredible, beautiful visuals. A great silent film..
½ April 27, 2015
Starring Lillian Gish and Lars Hanson. Gish's last silent film has her cast as a virginal young woman who makes her way west, where she battles the elements, men, and her own sanity. There is a very childlike innocence about Gish here, which serves the repressed feeling of her character's sexuality. The main character is arguably the wind, which drives Gish to the brink of madness. The film's hokey ending does not greatly diminish its overall excellence Directed by Victor Seastrom.
½ February 15, 2015
The Wind has excellent art direction, interesting plot, great direction, an expectedly terrific performance from Lillian Gish, stunning cinematography and the white horse sequences are very intriguing and well filmed, but because the film's story needed much longer running time, the final product seems butchered and rushed. It has its moments, but never fulfills its evident potential thanks to many rushed scenes, too fast pacing and not enough attention to character development.
½ June 14, 2014
A down-on-her luck woman goes to the windy open plains to live with her cousin. After his jealous wife throws her out, she is forced to marry a man she doesn't love while being wooed by a married man. Lillian Gish's outstanding performance makes this film well worth seeing. The ending in particular is quite moving and wouldn't have worked without her expressive face. It didn't...blow me away (hehehe) but it's well worth checking out
December 28, 2013
This film works beautifully as a black & white silent feature - reminding the modern audience some of what we've lost with all our technological advancements. The visual aspects of the film, and the feeling & symbolism induced by the wind speak much more dynamically than any dialog could. My only complaint is the happy ending - it doesn't actually make any sense within the context of the story. If the original ending could be restored this would truly be a masterpiece. As it stands now, it is certainly a classic - but with a very weak ending.
September 19, 2012
An atmospheric portrait of a sheltered woman clashing with new surroundings yields impressive characterizations, set lyrically against the climate motif of the title, presaging Kurosawa, Spielberg and Malick in its use of nature as storyteller.
August 15, 2012
my second fave silent pic right behind 'sunrise' my fave
rubystevens
Super Reviewer
April 2, 2012
beautifully shot in the mojave desert with eight aircraft propellers creating the relentless wind of west texas, the film suffers from the discordant happy ending forced on the director by mgm
March 21, 2012
Lillian Gish is able to act circles around most leading ladies of any era, and do it without sound. This movie rises and falls with her; her descent into madness is truly frightening by film's end, at least until that tacked-on "happy ending". Still, her performance was great.
December 3, 2011
Gentile Southerner Lilian Gish comes west and encounters the ruthlessness of the land, figuratively and symbolically, in this last great MGM silent. As the wind bats constantly at her door with gusts of sand and noise, Gish crumbles to a psychotic ball, but when the wind isn't raping her, an extant villain is trying to, can she survive? MGM didn't like the way Victor Sjostrom's film ended, the only way a thriller like this could, tragically, and added a happy ending, but that doesn't mar much, it's still a profound, exhilarating spectacle, and Gish's shining moment of her silent era.
½ December 1, 2011
The #4 Western of All-Time!
July 18, 2011
Feel your mind, Feel your sense. Finally, You see the masterpiece
½ July 7, 2011
Gish's performance is wonderful in this classic silent drama that uses nature as a fluid symbol of one woman's inner turmoil/freedom.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
June 6, 2011
If you are a fan of silents and haven't seen this don't delay. Lillian Gish is simply astounding.
Super Reviewer
January 31, 2011
It was actually quite good, and definitely one of the better silents.

The story was a bit 'eh' but it moved along well and the acting was good. The music annoyed the hell out of me though.
½ December 10, 2009
Impressive!

Letty braves her way from Virgina to the wind-scorched country to live with her cousin, and what does she comes across? - a hysterical wife, bent on war; an onslaught of marriage proposals and rascally men; horribly inedible food; and the horrible wind that screeches and howls relentlessly. Eventually unwanted and forced out of her cousin's to a frightful wedlock, Letty (Lillian Gish) -- after storms, attacks, beaten by weather and fighting to assimilate into this inhospitable land -- finds what it takes to be a wife, and her husband Lige (Lars Hanson), finds what it is to be a husband.

All praise is deserved in this magnificent piece. From the subtle and genuine acting of Gish, and the equally delightful addition the cast provides; the extraordinary and shocking effects of sand storms and wind and tornadoes, what must have been a technical challenge of the day; impressive production quality; sense of humor; clever style; picturesque scenery of mountain ranges and wild horses; excellent direction; and the similarly impressive, grand score.

What a treat! I haven't been quite this impressed with a 1920's film, but this one really does it. Once in a blue moon a film comes forward where every measure is taken -- where it's treated with love, looked at, cared for -- where everything must be right for the cast and director and set designers and the effects technicians, and The Wind is it! Highly recommended - 9.4/10
November 10, 2009
Lillian Gish is able to act circles around most leading ladies of any era, and do it without sound. This movie rises and falls with her; her descent into madness is truly frightening by film's end, at least until that tacked-on "happy ending". Still, her performance was great.
October 26, 2009
Thrilling silent yarn with great effects and a nice love story.
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