Written on the Wind

THIS WOMAN IN HIS ARMS WAS NOW THE WIFE OF THE MAN HE CALLED HIS BEST FRIEND!

writtenonthewindKyle Hadley (Robert Stack), the son of a Texas oil baron, marries Lucy Moore (Lauren Bacall)… who actually fancies Mitch Wayne (Rock Hudson), a geologist working for the Hadleys, who considers Kyle one of his closest friends. One of Douglas Sirk’s most famous melodramas was based on a book that was in turn inspired by a real-life affair between a singer and the heir of a tobacco empire. The focus in this film actually lies on a poisonous relationship between two siblings who both suffer from acute self-contempt. Very dramatic, thanks to a cinematography full of dazzling colors and whirling autumn leaves, and dedicated performances by Stack and Dorothy Malone. We may not understand the siblings… but it’s a rich soap story.

1956-U.S. 99 min. Color. Produced by Albert Zugsmith. Directed by Douglas Sirk. Screenplay: George Zuckerman. Novel: Robert Wilder. Cinematography: Russell Metty. Song: “Written on the Wind” (Victor Young, Sammy Cahn). Cast: Rock Hudson (Mitch Wayne), Lauren Bacall (Lucy Moore), Robert Stack (Kyle Hadley), Dorothy Malone, Robert Keith, Grant Williams.

Oscar: Best Supporting Actress (Malone).

Last word: “An agent kept calling me that there is a director from Europe who wants you and only you. Sirk was every woman’s dream of a director. He was very Prussian, wore a scarf, and maybe he even had a walking stick. If he liked you, he was so much fun. I found him utterly charming. But it must have been terrible if he didn’t like you.” (Malone, interview with Gerald Peary)

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