Innocent and naive Letty Mason moves from her Virginia home to Sweet Water on the western prairies to live on the ranch of her cousin Beverly, his wife Cora and their three children. Letty quickly learns how inhospitable the environment in Sweet Water is, the most obvious item being the incessant wind. But equally inhospitable are the unrefined way the people in Sweet Water live to which she is unaccustomed, and Cora, who believes Letty has come to steal Beverly away from her. As such, Cora orders Letty out of her and Bev's house. With no money, Letty is forced to accept one of the marriage proposal she receives, the lesser evil being that from Bev and Cora's ranching neighbor, Lige Hightower, a man who she does not love. Despite a less than harmonious start, Letty, in part due to her isolation as she is more often than not forced to stay inside due to the wind, begins to have affection for Lige, who wants to do right by her, and who promises to send her back to Virginia when he is ...Written by
During filming, high temperatures made life miserable for both cast and crew. The intense heat caused the film stock to warp, and it had to be packed in ice to remain intact. Lillian Gish claimed that she touched an outside door handle, and was so severely burned that a small part of her palm's flesh was scalded off. See more »
This is quite simply one of the handful of greatest achievements in the history of visual storytelling. There are images as fresh, as inventive as any you will ever see. You may find some of Gish's emoting a little over the top, but immediately there follow moments when she is as subtle and complex as anyone who came after her. She did, after all, invent screen acting as we now know it. One may wish for the original ending Gish and Sjostrom wanted; but the final images as re-shot were still created by artists at the height of their respective powers, and are memorable in their own right. The desert wind lives and howls in this film, as it has done only rarely in films by John Ford and David Lean. Anyone who doubts that cinema is art has never seen The Wind.
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