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Mary Ann Robinson, a young woman living in The Bronx, New York, with her neurotic, overbearing mother and kindly but ineffectual stepfather, is raped while walking home one night. Keeping the attack to herself, Mary Ann runs away, seeking to lose herself in Manhattan by renting a seedy flat and taking a job in a dime store. Overwhelmed by people's hostility and her own despair, Mary Ann tries to jump off the Manhattan Bridge, only to be stopped by Mike, a garage mechanic who takes her back to his modest basement apartment nearby. At first appreciative of Mike's kindness, Mary Ann becomes terrified when he refuses to let her leave. Is Mike really Mary Ann's rescuer - or is he another rapist? Written by
Eugene Kim <email@example.com>
"Something Wild" is episodic--Carroll Baker's Mary Ann is raped, which triggers several new chapters in her life--but I love how the narrative pushes the main character forward, constantly keeping things interesting. After Mary Ann is taken in off the streets by a garage mechanic, she asks him, "Why do you want me to stay?" He says to her, "You're my last chance." The way Ralph Meeker delivers that line, you believe it. It's not creepy or uncomfortable in the slightest. He needs her, and he knows she needs him and could come to love him (he has confidence in that, probably his only confidence). The gossips at the drug-store, the dumpy boarding house room with the hard-partying Jean Stapleton next door, the suicide attempt all lead to Mary Ann's personal redemption and a hope for happiness (with the possible exception of Meeker's eye--ouch!). Quite a good picture, rather better than Baker's "Baby Doll" and Meeker's "Kiss Me Deadly"; this, in fact, should be the film people associate with them. *** from ****
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