IMDb > Written on the Wind (1956)
Written on the Wind
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Written on the Wind (1956) More at IMDbPro »

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Down 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
George Zuckerman (screenplay)
Robert Wilder (based on the novel by)
View company contact information for Written on the Wind on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
December 1956 (USA) See more »
This woman in his arms was now the wife of the man he called his best friend! See more »
Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 3 nominations See more »
(55 articles)
User Reviews:
Gilded Trash See more (80 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Rock Hudson ... Mitch Wayne

Lauren Bacall ... Lucy Moore Hadley

Robert Stack ... Kyle Hadley

Dorothy Malone ... Marylee Hadley
Robert Keith ... Jasper Hadley

Grant Williams ... Biff Miley

Robert J. Wilke ... Dan Willis

Edward Platt ... Doctor Paul Cochrane (as Edward C. Platt)
Harry Shannon ... Hoak Wayne
John Larch ... Roy Carter
Joseph Granby ... R.J. Courtney
Roy Glenn ... Sam

Maidie Norman ... Bertha

William Schallert ... Reporter
Joanne Jordan ... Brunette
Dani Crayne ... Blonde
Dorothy Porter ... Secretary
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gail Bonney ... Hotel Floorlady (uncredited)
Paul Bradley ... Maitre d' (uncredited)
Robert Brubaker ... Hotel Manager (uncredited)
Carl Christian ... Ben - Bartender (uncredited)

Kevin Corcoran ... Boy on Electric Hobbyhorse (uncredited)
George DeNormand ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Bess Flowers ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)
Chuck Hamilton ... Policeman (uncredited)
Don C. Harvey ... Hotel Doorman (uncredited)
Phil Harvey ... College Boy at Party (uncredited)
Bert Holland ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Jane Howard ... Beer Drinker (uncredited)
Carlene King Johnson ... College Girl at Party (uncredited)
Chester Jones ... Attendant (uncredited)
Glen Kramer ... College Boy at Party (uncredited)
Robert Lyden ... Kyle as a Boy (voice) (uncredited)
Robert Malcolm ... Hotel Proprietor (uncredited)
Coleen McClatchey ... College Girl at Party (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)

Barry Norton ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Susan Odin ... Marylee as a Girl (voice) (uncredited)
Cynthia Patrick ... Waitress (uncredited)
Floyd Simmons ... Beer Drinker (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Prosecution Staff Lawyer (uncredited)
Robert Winans ... Mitch as a Boy (voice) (uncredited)

Directed by
Douglas Sirk 
Writing credits
George Zuckerman (screenplay)

Robert Wilder (based on the novel by)

Produced by
Albert Zugsmith .... producer
Original Music by
Frank Skinner 
Cinematography by
Russell Metty (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Russell F. Schoengarth 
Art Direction by
Robert Clatworthy 
Alexander Golitzen 
Set Decoration by
Russell A. Gausman (set decorations)
Julia Heron (set decorations)
Costume Design by
Bill Thomas (gowns)
Jay A. Morley Jr. (uncredited)
Makeup Department
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
Production Management
Norman Deming .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William Holland .... assistant director
Wilson Shyer .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Leslie I. Carey .... sound
Robert Pritchard .... sound
William Lambert .... sound recordist (uncredited)
Edward L. Sandlin .... sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Clifford Stine .... special photography
Music Department
Joseph Gershenson .... music supervisor
Other crew
William Fritzsche .... Technicolor color consultant
Betty A. Griffin .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Richard Mayer .... dialogue coach (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
99 min | UK:100 min (re-release)
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.00 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Australia:PG | Finland:K-12 (1989) | Finland:K-16 (1956) | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1956) | New Zealand:R16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video re-rating) (2005) | UK:PG (re-release: re-rating) (1998) | USA:Not Rated | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #17932) | West Germany:6

Did You Know?

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 »
Crew or equipment visible: In a few shots over the shoulders of Jasper and Lucy Hadley in Jasper's office we can see out the windows the little smudge pots making the smoke in the "oilfields" outside.See more »
Kyle Hadley:I'll kill him!
Marylee Hadley:A whiskey bottle's about all you'd kill.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Roma (2004)See more »
TemptationSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
55 out of 68 people found the following review useful.
Gilded Trash, 15 December 2002
Author: MICHAEL O'FARRELL (mpofarrell) from Albany, NY

At the Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 1957, Dorothy Malone won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her torrid, over-the-top portrayal of a spoiled heiress of a Texas oil tycoon in WRITTEN ON THE WIND. The 1956 potboiler, adapted from Robert Wilder's novel , was a veritable three-ring-circus showcasing alcoholism, greed, impotence and nymphomania.

Malone's performance as Marylee Hadley , a lonely rich girl who picks up men to assuage the pain of rejection from a former childhood sweetheart, was representative of the movie as a whole. Mesmerizing to watch even as it resorts to the "lowest -common- denominator" melodrama, WRITTEN ON THE WIND is ultimately the work of one man, the incredibly gifted director Douglas Sirk, an émigré from pre -World War 2 Weimar Germany who left his European theater heritage behind to pursue a career in Hollywood.

An extremely erudite man, Sirk made a name for himself in the 1950's as Universal Studios' reliable director of lavish soap operas, most notably with Ross Hunter's productions of MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION , ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS and IMITATION OF LIFE . Independent producer Albert Zugsmith offered Sirk the opportunity to work outside the limiting constraints of Universal's demure entertainments and create a more adult , "sensational" product , hence the sultry WIND and its follow-up, 1957's TARNISHED ANGELS, both released under the Universal International banner. It's anyone's guess why Sirk didn't pursue loftier themes, but apparently directing these exaggerated dramas appealed more to his artistic sensibilities. WRITTEN ON THE WIND could be considered Sirk's epic soap opera ; indeed, it is so rife with human vulnerability and neurosis as depicted among the very rich that it is as compelling to watch as any real life domestic squabble among the rich and famous, perhaps more so. Robert Stack (not an actor typically known for over -emoting) nearly matches Malone in intensity with his offering of the weak- willed brother Kyle Hadley, a mere shadow of his patriarchal father. When he finds out that he is unable to impregnate his new bride ( a beautifully leonine Lauren Bacall ) , Hadley goes off the deep end, escalating an already serious drinking problem with a "secret " gun fetish that threatens to make him a human time bomb. Both brother and sister, as venal and unlikeable as they are, are presented as victims of their past, giving them a human quality that makes them seem less monstrous ( and far more interesting than the 'good" side of the family, mainly Bacall and the impossibly handsome Rock Hudson , young Hadley's old boyhood friend and business associate, a surrogate son to the old man and Malone' s unattainable object of desire. ) Despite all the domestic co-dependency on display , it's not so much the story that is memorable here as the way it is filmed. With a real panache for pictorial composition and editing, director Sirk draws his audience into this picture with the most heightened Technicolor cinematography imaginable : every single shot in this film is an eye-filling canvas of saturated colors, from the sight of a tank-like pink Cadillac pulling up to an enormous mansion's front doors to the garish decor of a luxury Miami hotel , a spectrum of hues almost blinding in their diversity. Action and dramatic scenes feature Sirk's adept use of tilted camera angles , shadowy lighting and cross-cut editing , shown to greatest effect in the scene where a rebellious , drunken Malone dances uninhibitedly in her upstairs bedroom to the loud blaring of a record player while her stricken father precariously ascends the huge staircase ; the scene is so riveting that you swear you are experiencing a great oedipal drama unfold. What you're really watching is trash of an enormously entertaining kind, gussied up in lurid Technicolor and polished to perfection by a visual genius.

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