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Wild in the Country
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Wild in the Country (1961) More at IMDbPro »

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Wild in the Country -- Out on parole, a troubled but gifted young country boy falls for his female psychiatrist, who encourages his writing talent.


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6.5/10   985 votes »
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Down 8% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Clifford Odets (screenplay)
J.R. Salamanca (novel)
View company contact information for Wild in the Country on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
15 June 1961 (USA) See more »
ELVIS PRESLEY sings of love to HOPE LANGE - TUESDAY WELD - MILLIE PERKINS (original ad - mostly caps) See more »
A troubled young man discovers that he has a knack for writing when a counselor encourages him to pursue a literary career. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Elvis is excellent, as is everyone else, but the film's a bit ponderous... See more (22 total) »


  (in credits order)

Elvis Presley ... Glenn Tyler

Hope Lange ... Irene Sperry

Tuesday Weld ... Noreen Braxton

Millie Perkins ... Betty Lee Parsons

Rafer Johnson ... Davis

John Ireland ... Phil Macy

Gary Lockwood ... Cliff Macy
William Mims ... Uncle Rolfe Braxton
Raymond Greenleaf ... Dr. Underwood
Christina Crawford ... Monica George
Robin Raymond ... Flossie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Charles Arnt ... Mr. Parsons (uncredited)

Mark Bailey ... Sheriff (uncredited)
Walter Baldwin ... Mr. Spangler (uncredited)
Joe Butham ... Mr. Dace (uncredited)

Pat Buttram ... Mr. Longstreet (uncredited)
Harry Carter ... Bartender (uncredited)
Linden Chiles ... Doctor (uncredited)
Will Corry ... Willie Dace (uncredited)
Ruby Goodwin ... Sarah (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Man at Hospital Bazaar (uncredited)
Jimmie Horan ... Juror (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Man at Coroner's Inquest (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Milk Bottle Bazaar Concessionaire (uncredited)
Doreen Lang ... Mrs. Parsons (uncredited)
Hans Moebus ... Conductor (uncredited)
Elisha Mott ... State Trooper (uncredited)

Alan Napier ... Prof. Joe B. Larson (uncredited)
Jack Orrison ... Dr. Creston (uncredited)
Jason Robards Sr. ... Judge Tom Parker (uncredited)
Cosmo Sardo ... Man at Hospital Bazaar (uncredited)
Harry Shannon ... Sam Tyler (uncredited)
Frankie Silver ... Woman in Booth (uncredited)

Red West ... Hank Tyler (uncredited)

Directed by
Philip Dunne 
Writing credits
Clifford Odets (screenplay)

J.R. Salamanca (novel "The Lost Country")

Produced by
Peter Nelson .... associate producer
Jerry Wald .... producer
Original Music by
Kenyon Hopkins 
Cinematography by
William C. Mellor (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Dorothy Spencer 
Art Direction by
E. Preston Ames  (as Preston Ames)
Jack Martin Smith 
Set Decoration by
Stuart A. Reiss 
Walter M. Scott 
Costume Design by
Donfeld  (as Don Feld)
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Helen Turpin .... hair stylist
Production Management
Edward Woehler .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joseph E. Rickards .... assistant director
Harry Scott .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Alfred Bruzlin .... sound
Warren B. Delaplain .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Homer Plannette .... gaffer (uncredited)
Clyde Taylor .... gaffer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Nancy Sharp .... wardrobe
Music Department
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System) | 4-Track Stereo

Did You Know?

Millie Perkins broke her arm when, according to the script, she had to slap Elvis Presley in the face.See more »
Glenn Tyler:What do you want me to talk about?
Irene Sperry:Anything at all. Just talk.
See more »
Husky Dusky DaySee more »


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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Elvis is excellent, as is everyone else, but the film's a bit ponderous..., 2 July 2002
Author: Shane Paterson from Las Vegas, NV

This film is a tragedy, to me, in that it basically marks the end of Elvis' aspiration to be a 'serious' actor, an aspiration that he was quite capable of realizing. He'd still display flashes of brilliance in his '60s musical comedies, and he yet had the stellar "Follow That Dream" and the somewhat lesser "Kid Galahad" (as well as some late '60s roles) to come, but this film represents his last successful all-out stab at a dramatic role. Elvis plays a country boy, named Glenn Tyler, who's possessed of an enormous talent for writing -- encouraged by his now-dead mother -- but who lacks formal education and the supportive environment needed to allow that talent to bloom. After a series of run-ins with the law, at least some of them undeserved, Glenn is removed to his uncle's custody and it's when he's assigned a female case worker who recognizes his potential that things really begin to change.

Hope Lange plays the proverbial older woman, a fixture of many Elvis movies. Pouty Tuesday Weld plays a prematurely world-weary teenaged mother who represents the fork in Glenn's road that leads to a life less than what he was capable of. Millie Perkins plays the girl from the 'right' side of the tracks whose father looks down on Glenn and his ilk and who represents a path that would take him firmly into the heart of Middle America (southern style). Hope Lange turns out to be the third path, perhaps propelling Glenn to where he might realize his fullest personal potential. Ironically enough, Tuesday Weld played a woman delivered a kidnapped Elvis in 1988's "Heartbreak Hotel" and Millie Perkins played Elvis' mother in the excellent 1990 TV series, "Elvis - The early Years."

Red West, Elvis' former bodyguard and friend since high-school days, plays Elvis' hood/redneck brother in the film. He acquits himself well, though those of us who don't think that anything could justify his participation in the 1977 'tell-a''' book, "Elvis - What Happened?" might perhaps revel in the sound thrashing that Elvis delivers to Red at the film's beginning. Superathlete Rafer Johnson -- fresh from winning an Olympic gold medal for decathlon -- appeared in this film and Christina Crawford made her film debut here. Other familiar faces include Alan Napier (known to many as Alfred, the butler, in the '60s "Batman" series) and Gary Lockwood (Elvis' partner in "It Happened At The World's Fair"). William Mims is great in his role as the sleazy uncle. Jason Robards, father of Junior, made his last screen appearance in this film. For some reason, the film -- though set in the South -- was shot in the Napa Valley region of Northern California.

This film deals with adult themes and it's perhaps not surprising that both Hope Lange and Tuesday Weld featured in "Peyton Place" properties. I understand that the "Peyton Place" franchise defined the modern soap opera, at least the prime-time kind. "Wild In The Country" is, at heart, a bit of a soap opera. I believe that the film was shot with two or three endings -- at least one had a suicide (can't recall if it was Elvis' or Hope Lange's), but they ended up going with the more upbeat conclusion.

In all, I find this film a bit tedious to watch, perhaps explaining why I've only seen it twice now. I don't have a short attention span, but certain movies make me wonder if I'm developing one and this film falls somewhat into that category. As much as anything, perhaps it's a just a little too soapy for me, though a beautifully-realized film packed with convincing characterizations. Still, to me, it pales beside the excellent "Flaming Star." However, I've seen films far more glacial in pacing and many are lauded as 'art' -- to me they're just boring -- and this one, at least, has Elvis! And, to be fair, it tells a good story and does so in a well-crafted way. The songs separate this one from "Flaming Star," too, though few in number and every one is worked into the script naturally. Two of the songs cut from the film are as perfectly beautiful as the ballad that Elvis sings to Tuesday and were recorded in two versions, one with guitar only (for the film) and the other with added instrumentation and voices. The producers, at least, were trying to get away from the typical 'unrealistic' musical thing wherein music and voices come from nowhere.

In this film Elvis again proved his tremendous potential as an actor, and is totally believable for most of his screen time (he does a great 'drunk' scene with Tuesday Weld, too). The film may not be as solid and tight as "Flaming Star" but Elvis' performance is still very strong and he is again ably supported by an excellent cast. It's nothing short of tragic that Elvis' acting ability would never again be explored to the extent that it was in this and the other 1960 Fox film that Elvis did, "Flaming Star." By the time that Elvis finished the '60s and got around to filming some atypical movies (e.g., "Charro!," "The Trouble With Girls," and "Change Of Habit") the damage was already done and the films were subverted either by substandard scripting or by Elvis' own lack of enthusiasm for what had become, over the preceding seven years or so, increasingly a despised exercise in commercialism. Unfortunately, "Wild In The Country" failed to even live up to the mild box-office reception that "Flaming Star" had generated, and we'll never know how things might have turned out differently had Elvis continued to make high-quality dramas (comedies and adventure yarns, for that matter) instead of the lightweight musical 'vehicles' that largely became the norm. About four months after filming "Wild In The Country" Elvis began work on "Blue Hawaii," quickly to become his most successful film of the 33 that he made, and the rest is history.

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