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Now this is a classic Hollywood melodrama that has a class and chic of glamour pertaining to old Hollywood, handsome stars and an entertaining story to tell, borrowed from a book, of course. A typical story of a rich American family ruined to shreds because of "the rich cry too". But at least back then they made them with some taste, that is absent from the modern productions.
8.0/10, my review: http://wp.me/p1eXom-2uu
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.
Strange, boring, and long.
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??
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.
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.
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.
Very middle of the road in every way.
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.