Written on the Wind - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Written on the Wind Reviews

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December 2, 2015
Written on the Wind is flat out excellent, accommodated by Sirk's signature visuals (was anyone better at cultivating this kind of look?) and a wonderfully melodramatic love story filled with subtleties (Kyle's possible homosexuality, Marylee's nymphomania and a couple of hilarious visual jokes that play off of it, the almost ironically over-the-top direction) that an audience could choose to ignore if they wanted to experience the pulpy top layer on its own. Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone are both excellent in their tortured villainy, almost to the point that watching Hudson and Bacall feels dull by comparison, but what make the film truly great is its screenplay, an elegantly structured piece filled with witty dialogue that allows for the two divergent ways one can view a Sirk film (either an earnest, trashy melodrama or a still-earnest-yet-hilarious satire of an earnest, trashy melodrama, with the added element of genuinely affecting material). It may not beat All That Heaven Allows in that respect, but it's certainly considered to be one of his best for a reason.
½ October 14, 2015
Strange, boring, and long.
August 8, 2015
Pretty boring and slow moving. It would be better if they showed some plot lines instead of having the characters say them, for example, Mitch shows his love for Lucy or show Kyle drinking from the beginning instead of stating it. And also why did she choose Kyle over Mitch??
½ July 26, 2015
What I got from my history of film class about the melodrama is that it is centered on drama within the family, and it is drama with "music" as a key element. I am not sure whether this music part is literal or figurative, because I've been told Breaking Bad is a melodrama yet is not that musical. I always thought melodrama just referred to exaggerated drama found in most soap operas.

Getting back to this specific movie, "Written on the Wind" deals with a wealthy family and a close friend of that family, none of which I even care for. The family in question is the Hadley family, which contains a drunken impulsive baby of a man, his father who runs the family company, and his sister, the town slut. The most interesting moment of the film is when the Hadley slut is dancing in her room and in a seductive dress, which is connected to her father falling down the stairs to his death. He does not see the dance, but it is implied that her sexuality is what ultimately kills him. Other than this we have a complicated love triangle - actually, make that a quadrangle - which ends up getting the Hadley drunk killed, and if the late Hadley's sister decides to testify that Mitch was the one to kill her brother, nobody can refute it. In a somewhat satisfying ending, she cries as she cannot put Mitch away, and then what do you know, the movie ends. I can see the film's effort, but the style of melodrama bored me to death and seemed hyperbolic.
½ January 20, 2015
A man's weak sperm count leads him to fall off the wagon. When his wife surprisingly gets pregnant, he drunkenly tries to kill his best friend, accusing the two of a non-existent affair.
November 21, 2014
It's one of the best opening sequences in movie history, and it sets the scene for what follows: sharply stylised, poised and camp melodrama at its best. Lauren Bacall and Rock Hudson own the screen almost as much as the whiskey bottle in those slanted close-ups, almost as much as the near-final image of Dorothy Malone's face ducking under a black frisbee disguised as a hat. A punch in the jaw from what makes cinema cinema.
½ September 25, 2014
Very middle of the road in every way.
June 13, 2014
Really a horrible movie -- campy, but Sirk was serious! The acting is either over-the-top or just plain awful. Film critics who love this movie are just pretentious blowhards....there is nothing to see here. This is a portrait of America that never existed....really not authentic.
½ June 8, 2014
Soapy, melodramatic and perfectly camp, Written on the Wind is made memorable by it's strong supporting players and an active sense of self-irony.
May 22, 2014
Fabulous Douglas Sirk Classic with groundbreaking social observation and marvelously over the top performances!
February 23, 2014
Wow! As in wow. The plot of course is pure soapy melodrama: A love "rectangle" of sorts between two spoiled children of a very rich oil baron, their childhood friend and a woman caught in the middle. He loves her, she marries another, etc. You know the drill. But like with other Douglas Sirk melodramas, he elevates the material into pure cinematic artistry. Absolutely super performances from Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack and especially Dorothy Malone who was deliciously wicked althroughout but blew me away with that courtroom scene. Add to that the very expressive Technicolor cinematography by Russell Metty. It is truly an essential masterpiece. I can tell it very heavily influenced a lot of the '80s American primetime soaps.
½ January 27, 2014
Nobody does melodramas like Douglas Sirk. The vivid colors, the larger-than-life emotions and resolutions, the tormented characters... Dorothy Malone, in particular, is mesmerizing. A definitive 50's classic.
½ November 29, 2013
It was almost good, but a bit too melodramatic. It reminded me of how good "Giant" was. I kept thinking, Is this really all that the rich texans have to do with their time? I was interested in much of it, good acting and not bad writing, but the direction made it feel like a prolonged soap opera. I enjoyed the deregulated airlines without security. Really reminded me of how simple things were.
October 9, 2013
All of the usual Sirk trappings, dysfunctional families, impossible loves, social conservatism and gorgeous colour and set design.
August 19, 2013
Another great film by Douglas Sirk. It is a tale about lost and how every single character has some experience of loss. Just when you think things will turn around for the better, the characters end up sabotaging themselves and causing further loss. All of the actor's do an amazing job of displaying a range of emotions.
June 11, 2013
my fourth sirk film and now i know what to look for that pleases me. the bold colors, the long shots, the images in the mirrors. malone definitely stands out with her wondeful performance............
June 4, 2013
Melodrama de 1956 dirigido por Douglas Sirk. Un magnate petrolero, Kile (Robert Stack) y su mejor amigo, Mitch (Rock Hudson), se enamoran de la misma mujer (Lauren Bacall). El primero, alcohólico irresponsable, parace que el matrimonio lo he hecho un hombre nuevo, pero al enterarse que no puede tener hijos vuelve a la bebida. La hermana de Kile (que es interpretada por Dorothy Malone) está enamorada de Mitch, quien siempre la ha visto como una hermana. Y en esta trama amorosa la fatalidad llega cuando Kile se entera de que Mitch siempre ha amado a su esposa. Dorothy Malone ganó un Óscar por mejor actriz secundaria.
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