Written On The Wind (1956)

DOUGLAS SIRK

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

USA, 1956.  Universal International Pictures.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by , .  Film Editing by .  Podcast:  My Criterions.  

Douglas Sirk’s gorgeously photographed drama is sort of like Giant on a much smaller scale. It tells of a Texas oil family whose son and daughter (Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone) bring their clan to ruin with their morally corrupt ways. Lauren Bacall stars as the northern outsider who wins Stack’s heart and marries him before he succumbs to drinking and paranoia, all the while his best friend (Rock Hudson) looks on with jealousy over the woman he loved first. Malone, on the other hand, wants Hudson badly, but in the event that she can’t have him decides to have public trysts with all sorts of lowly men all over town. Photography is gorgeous, and the atmosphere is set just at the perfect level of soap operatic melodrama, not too realistic, but not too cheesy either.

Academy Award:  Best Supporting Actress (Dorothy Malone)
Nominations: Best Supporting Actor (Robert Stack); Best Song (“Written On The Wind”)

Golden Globe Award Nomination:  Best Supporting Actress (Dorothy Malone)

The Criterion Collection:  #96

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