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A portrait on his wall shows him at the same desk with the same bronze--a barbershop mirror effect. At the end of the film, after Marylee's rivals have won, she is left alone in her father's office, where she caresses the erect derrick--first sadly, then tenderly. To a greater degree than we realize, our lives and decisions are formed by pop cliches and conventions. Films that exaggerate our fantasies help us to see them--to be amused by them, and by ourselves. They clear the air. Douglas Sirk had two careers. His first 37 years were spent in Germany, where he worked as a stage director, specializing in classics.

He also made Westerns, musicals and war stories, working with Hudson more often than any other star--perhaps appreciating the way Hudson's concealed homosexuality worked subtly to subvert the stock characters he often played. Rainer Werner Fassbinder, another German obsessed with American forms of melodrama, said Sirk was the greatest influence on his work. Certainly Sirk was the father of prime-time TV soaps. In countless ways visible and invisible, Sirk's sly subversion skewed American popular culture, and helped launch a new age of irony.

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr A video essay about Mortal Engines, as part of Scout Tafoya's ongoing video essay series on maligned masterpieces. While the gun barrel sequences in James Bond films have not changed a great deal visually, one element that has evolv Reviews Written on the Wind. Popular Blog Posts Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger? Roger Ebert This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. It's anyone's guess why Sirk didn't pursue loftier themes, but apparently directing these exaggerated dramas appealed more to his artistic sensibilities.

Robert Stack not an actor typically known for over -emoting nearly matches Malone in intensity with his offering of the weak- willed brother Kyle Hadley, a mere shadow of his patriarchal father.

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When he finds out that he is unable to impregnate his new bride a beautifully leonine Lauren Bacall , Hadley goes off the deep end, escalating an already serious drinking problem with a "secret " gun fetish that threatens to make him a human time bomb. Both brother and sister, as venal and unlikeable as they are, are presented as victims of their past, giving them a human quality that makes them seem less monstrous and far more interesting than the 'good" side of the family, mainly Bacall and the impossibly handsome Rock Hudson , young Hadley's old boyhood friend and business associate, a surrogate son to the old man and Malone' s unattainable object of desire.

Despite all the domestic co-dependency on display , it's not so much the story that is memorable here as the way it is filmed.

Written on the Wind

With a real panache for pictorial composition and editing, director Sirk draws his audience into this picture with the most heightened Technicolor cinematography imaginable : every single shot in this film is an eye-filling canvas of saturated colors, from the sight of a tank-like pink Cadillac pulling up to an enormous mansion's front doors to the garish decor of a luxury Miami hotel , a spectrum of hues almost blinding in their diversity.

Action and dramatic scenes feature Sirk's adept use of tilted camera angles , shadowy lighting and cross-cut editing , shown to greatest effect in the scene where a rebellious , drunken Malone dances uninhibitedly in her upstairs bedroom to the loud blaring of a record player while her stricken father precariously ascends the huge staircase ; the scene is so riveting that you swear you are experiencing a great oedipal drama unfold.

What you're really watching is trash of an enormously entertaining kind, gussied up in lurid Technicolor and polished to perfection by a visual genius. Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video. Start your free trial.

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Written on the Wind (1956) Trailer - Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall

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Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister. Director: Douglas Sirk. Writers: George Zuckerman screenplay , Robert Wilder based on the novel by.

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