6.8/10
1,060
53 user 25 critic

Something Wild (1961)

Not Rated | | Drama | January 1962 (USA)
A young rape victim tries desperately to pick up the pieces of her life, only to find herself at the mercy of a would-be rescuer.

Director:

Jack Garfein

Writers:

Jack Garfein (screenplay), Alex Karmel (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Carroll Baker ... Mary Ann Robinson
Ralph Meeker ... Mike
Mildred Dunnock ... Mrs. Gates
Jean Stapleton ... Shirley Johnson
Martin Kosleck ... Landlord
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Warren Gates
Clifton James ... Detective Bogart
George L. Smith George L. Smith ... Store Manager
Doris Roberts ... Mary Ann's Co-Worker
Ken Chapin Ken Chapin ... Policeman
Anita Cooper Anita Cooper ... Girl in 5 & 10
Ginny Baker Ginny Baker ... Shopgirl
Tanya Lopert Tanya Lopert ... Shopgirl
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Storyline

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 <gene_kim@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

On the cinema horizon...something new...something unusual...something wild! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

January 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Something Wild in the City See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Aaron Copland re-arranged music from his score for concert performance. It was published in 1964 as "Music for a Great City" and has been recorded by Copland and other conductors. See more »

Goofs

When Mike is done putting his scrap books items in a nice pile, the scissors keep changing positions as the scene progresses. See more »

Quotes

Mike: Don't try to jump again!
See more »

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User Reviews

Something Dour
30 November 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

The movie's heart is in the right place—a rape victim's struggles with despair by communicating with another benighted soul. All in all, it's a grimly humane moral. Still, the narrative is a one-note story made more repetitive by a 2-hour runtime. Then too, I wish impresario Garfein hadn't piled the despair on with a shovel. This may be one of the gloomiest films I've seen. Nothing wrong with gloom as a topic since it's a natural part of life. But here the visuals are unrelievedly dour, while a stricken Mary Ann (Baker) wanders endlessly around the seediest parts of New York, that is, when not ensconced in rat-trap apartments. All in all, it's like rubbing your nose in the decay, long after we've gotten the idea.

This is an anti-Hollywood production in spades. Under husband Garfein's tutelage, movie star Baker is de-glamorized to a severe degree, though always well scrubbed in close-ups. So I guess its okay for a leading lady to be plain-faced, but never grimy, even in a "realistic" New York production. Baker does well enough in the acting department, though her lines are few and her lonely walks are many. Meeker too does well enough in a weirdly unexplained role as a down-scale working-stiff. However, unlike Baker's Mary Ann, Meeker's Mike comes across more like a plot contrivance than a real person, which appears to be the fault of the script.

Anyway, in my view, the film's strictly a matter of taste. Those willing to put up with the snail pacing and relentless gloom, may feel rewarded at the end. Certainly, we non-New Yorkers get a good view of street scenes, river walkways and city slums. Sort of a non-touristy tour. All in all, the film may have been neo-European cutting-edge for its time. But, to me, it now looks like well-meaning self-indulgence on Garfein's part that loses impact through sheer repetition..


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