The Wind


The Wind

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 836
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Movie Info

A country girl goes to live as with her very unpleasant Texas family, where she's forced to deal with a bad marriage, a villainous ex-lover, murder -- and the maddening, never-ceasing desert wind. Deliberately paced, highly symbolic melodrama shot on location in the Mojave Desert.


Critic Reviews for The Wind

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (1)

Audience Reviews for The Wind

  • Dec 09, 2014
    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.
    George M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2011
    If you are a fan of silents and haven't seen this don't delay. Lillian Gish is simply astounding.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Jan 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.
    Lauren D Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2009
    <i>"Man - puny but irresistible - encroaching forever on Nature's vastnesses, gradually, very gradually wrestling away her strange secrets, subduing her fierce elements - conquers the earth!"</i> <CENTER><u>The Wind (1928)</u></CENTER> <b>Director:</b> Victor Sjöström <b>Country:</b> United States of America <b>Genre:</b> Drama / Western <b>Length:</b> 79 minutes <CENTER><a href="¤t=LillianGishTheWind.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a></CENTER> <i>The Wind</i> is definitely a very unique film unlike anything I had seen before. I was expecting a Western film with romance, but the film went beyond that. Swedish director Victor Sjöström makes a silent masterpiece which is beautifully crafted. The film is not only beautiful to watch, but it is also deep and symbolic. Its cinematography, visual style and its visual effects are worth-watching technical aspects of the film, which were pretty interesting on their own. <i>The Wind</i> deals with Letty Mason, a woman who has just moved to West Texas to live with her relatives, but is not welcomed by her cousin who ends up hating her. Mason later marries Lige, a man who "loves" her a little bit too much, but she doesn't. When she says to him that she hates him, he finally agrees to gather money so she can get out of there... but will he? Lillian Gish is the only shining star of this film. Her performance is outstanding and she was terrifically chosen for her role. The rest of the cast is pretty good as well. This is a wonderful MGM production with great music. The pace of the story is not rushed nor slow, but has some climatic and intense moments. A concept that I liked is that the wind can be interpreted as a symbolic element. Since she moves to her cousin's place, the protagonist realizes of the fact that the wind blows there much harder, like if the wheather itself were a superior entity rejecting her. She's not only afraid of the wind, but also of the consequences of her actions, especially when she realizes that she has nowhere else to go. The wind is not there by chance. It symbolizes that there is something in the personality of Mason that still has to be fixed and overcome. It is a fear within her that she must beat for her own sake, since it is also a process of self-discovery. I didn't see the ending coming, and whereas some people where dissapointed by it, I really think that it was just genius, and that the story doesn't really end there! Some people didn't really get it. It was just fantastic. Without arguing, this is a silent masterpiece and one of the greatest and earliest Western films of classic Hollywood. It has a lot of talent and it gave me a totally different feeling to it. Do not miss it, since this was perhaps the last silent masterpiece of the United States without including Chaplin who just wouldn't leave silent filmmaking. 88/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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