Best Movies by Farr
Wanda Poster
Released Runtime Category
1970 120 Drama
Director Language
Barbara Loden English
Barbara Loden, Michael Higgins


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What's it About

Adrift and penniless in a bleak, industrial mining town after agreeing to give up custody of her children, Wanda (Loden) is a desperate, lonely young woman with precious little self-esteem. One night, she wanders into a bar just as a middle-aged thief named Dennis (Higgins) is cleaning out the register. Seemingly indifferent to the danger, she embarks on a fateful road journey with the callous crook. 

Why we love it

Best known for her role in "Splendor in the Grass," directed by husband Elia Kazan, Loden was a ravishing beauty who transformed herself into a wayward housewife-in-curlers for this absorbing, ultra-realistic character study. Part of a short-lived trend of hard-hitting women's films in the early '70s, "Wanda" remains compelling for Loden's uncomfortably downcast performance, the gritty 16mm look of its rundown locales, and Higgins's marvelously inscrutable turn as a fledgling bank robber. Sadly, this was Loden's only directorial effort. Despite its low-budget aesthetic, "Wanda" shows a depth of emotion and low-key anger few films can match.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"