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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
Kyle Hadley is driving an Allard J2X Le Mans. Allard Motors of GB built these expensive cars using American engines, using the then new and refined Cadillac 303 cubic inch (5.4 liter) V-8 and later some with the new Chrysler hemi. In the early '50's these Cadillac powerplants did well in the 24 hr. Le Mans races. See more »
Although set in Texas, all cars in the film have clearly visible California plates. See more »
But you don't have to take my word for anything. Just try keeping your head clear and your eyes open.
Why should you care? You've never cared about me.
...Or your wife.
Why are you putting your two cents in?
Only because of Mitch. Because I've never had him. And your wife has.
[Kyle slaps her]
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Slinky Marylee (Dorothy Malone) is in love with nonchalant Mitch (Rock Hudson); Mitch is in love with virtuous Lucy (Lauren Bacall); Lucy is in love with jealous Kyle (Robert Stack); and Kyle is in love with the bottle. And they're all rolling in Texas oil money. Despite their wealth, however, none of these people are really happy. But, hey, what would a sudsy soap opera be without romantic entanglements, despair, tears, verbal conflict, and tons of melodrama? All we need here is Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing and Barbara Bel Geddes as Miss Ellie.
Although Robert Stack is miscast as a lady's man, he gives the only credible performance of the bunch, a feeble reason for watching this high-strung and overwrought spite-fest. Otherwise, the characters in "Written On The Wind" are neither interesting nor realistic.
And most of the major cast members are miscast. Rock Hudson not only gives a wooden performance, he's laughable as a wheeler-dealer Texas oil man. Dorothy Malone tries to steal the show, but her performance is all atwitter and way over-the-top. And why Lauren Bacall was selected to play a sweet, innocent outsider is a mystery suitable for an Agatha Christie novel.
Further, the film's plot gives away part of the ending, before the story even begins. And while oil is the source of the Hadley family wealth, the characters never engage in any actual oil business.
Color cinematography is competent, and one of the least offensive elements of the film. But the background music is manipulative and as overwrought as the characters.
"Written On The Wind" is another 1950s Douglas Sirk directed melodrama, and arguably one of the worst, owing to a campy plot, overwrought characters, very bad casting, and some rather poor acting.
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