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Donald Cammell was introduced to Nu Image by producer Elie Cohn, with whom he had worked on the unmade Marlon Brando film "Jericho". Nu Image was also familiar with Cammell's work and appeared to like the "Wild Side" script. However, the relationship between Nu Image and Cammell quickly turned sour. First, the company tried to prevent the casting of the then completely unknown Anne Heche as Joan Chen's lover. Then they questioned Cammell's working methods, sparking a battle of wills between him and Cohn. When Cammell delivered his rough cut, the producers were horrified. They fired off a memo ordering the film's editor Frank Mazzola to remove all flashbacks, flash forwards and jump cuts. Unsatisfied, the producers sacked him and re-cut the movie themselves. See more »
One of the greatest soft core lesbian scenes, with an OK crime drama around it.
I remember reading a review of this in one of those phone book sized movie guides you can get at a book store. They gave it their lowest rating, saying that it looked like it was all improvised in a series of motel room and apartments.
Yea, I can kind of see it.
Anyways, Wild Side is an OK noir film of sorts about a bank worker by day, high class prostitute by night (Heche) who gets involved with a crime boss (Walken) and his sexy girlfriend (Chen). Heche and Chen end up falling in love, and concoct a plan of sorts to get away.
The film probably would have faded away if it wasn't for the scorcher of a love scene between Heche and Chen. With an agonizingly erotic set up (a long dinner date between the two, followed by a first kiss in the womens bathroom), the actual love scene is allowed to play out nice and slow, in a big bedroom with the summer light and breeze blowing in. Seriously guys (and girls, I guess) this is everything you could want in a scene like this.
I wish I could say the movie around it was memorable enough to live up to that kind of glory, but it really doesn't. I'm sure Donald Cammell was a great director, and it's probably real sad that the film was chopped up before he could finish it to it's satisfaction. But I've got a feeling that whatever state this movie was supposed to in, it would have turned out the same.
Eroticism aside, the lesbian scene is asthetically like a breath of fresh air. It's bright, and wide open in the way it plays out across the screen. Compared to that, the rest of the movie really does play too dark; It really is kind of like sitting with your legs crossed on the floor in the corners of dark apartments while listening to other people talk. Dreary, in other words.
By the way, check out the Canadian video cover for this one compared to the static "3 portraits" cover we got in America. A classic example of how just how puritanical our culture can be sometimes.
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