A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
When churlish, spoiled rich man Bob Merrick foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates him with equipment that's therefore unavailable to aid a local hero, Dr. Wayne ... See full summary »
Emmi, a woman truly in the second half of life, falls in love with Ali, a Berber guest worker more than ten years younger. When they both decide to marry, everybody seems to be against them... See full summary »
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
El Hedi ben Salem,
An actress, a director, and a writer are asked to help revive the career of ruthless Hollywood studio bigwig Jonathan Shields. However, all three are reluctant because they have all been used and betrayed by him in the past.
On 24 October 1955, the hard-work geologist of the Hadley Oil Company Mitch Wayne meets the executive secretary Lucy Moore in the office of her boss Bill Ryan in New York and invites her to go to a conference with the alcoholic playboy and son of a tycoon Kyle Hadley. On the way of the meeting, he confesses that they had traveled from Houston to New York to satisfy the wish of the reckless Kyle, who is his best friend since their childhood, of eating a sandwich from club 21 and the meeting was just a pretext to Kyle's father Jasper Hadley. Mitch and Kyle immediately fall in love for Lucy, and Kyle unsuccessfully uses his money to impress Lucy; then he opens his heart and proposes Lucy. They get married and travel to Acapulco and the insecure Kyle stops drinking. Meanwhile, Kyle's sister Marylee is an easy woman and has a non-corresponded crush on Mitch that sees her as a sister. One year later, Kyle discovers that he has a problem and might be sterile and starts drinking again. The ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The movie was rumored to be based on the death of tobacco heir Zachary "Smith" Reynolds. The youngest son of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, the 20-year-old playboy had a complete disinterest in the family business, an inexhaustible allowance and a volatile temper. Smith owned a plane and literally stalked Broadway musical comedy star Libby Holman until the 27-year-old singer married him in 1931. Their marriage was a clash of wills and, during an alcohol-fueled July 4th holiday party in 1932 at the family's estate, Libby announced she was pregnant. Stories differ, but there was reportedly a tense confrontation, a gunshot and the young Smith was dead. Libby and Ab Walker, a close friend of Smith's who was whispered to be her lover, were indicted for murder. Fearing scandal over their son's activities, the intensely secretive Reynolds family "persuaded" authorities to drop the charges. The death was officially ruled a suicide. See more »
Mitch Wayne (Rock Hudson) takes a phone call in front of Kyle Hadley (Robert Stack) but says nothing about its contents. Kyle immediately jumps up and reacts to the contents of a call he did not hear, even repeating part of the call, saying, "He said 'the Hadley girl', didn't he? Well, I'm the Hadley boy." See more »
A dysfunctional family and a classic love triangle
Robert Stack never really got over losing a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Kyle in "Written on the Wind" to Anthony Quinn's 12-minute performance in "Lust for Life." Stack plays the deeply disturbed, alcoholic son of an oil tycoon. He has lived his life in the shadow of the friend with whom he was raised, Mitch, played by Rock Hudson. They both love the same woman, Lucy, (Lauren Bacall), who becomes Kyle's wife. Kyle's sister, Marylee (Dorothy Malone), is a drunken slut who's in love with Mitch. Their story plays out in glorious color under the able direction of Douglas Sirk, who really dominated the melodrama field with some incredible films, including "Imitation of Life," "All that Heaven Allows," "Magnificent Obsession," and many others.
Make no mistake - this is a potboiler, and Stack and Dorothy Malone make the most of their roles, Malone winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. There's one amazing scene, mentioned in other comments, where she wildly dances to loud music as her father collapses and dies on the staircase. We're led to believe that Marylee sleeps with everyone, including the guy that pumps the gas, because she's in love with Mitch. Mitch wants nothing to do with her. He's so in love with Lucy that, out of loyalty to Kyle, he wants to go to work in Iran to avoid temptation. I doubt he'd be so anxious to get there today no matter how much in love he was.
Hudson and Bacall have the less exciting roles here - Hudson's Mitch is the good guy who's been cleaning up Kyle's messes for his entire life, and Bacall is Mitch's wife who finds herself in a nightmare when her husband starts drinking again after a year of sobriety. Sirk focuses on the more volatile supporting players.
In Sirk's hands, "Written on the Wind" is an effective film, and the big scene toward the end in the mansion is particularly exciting. The director had a gift for this type of movie, and though he had many imitators, he never had an equal.
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