Best Movies by Farr
Written on the Wind Poster
Released Runtime Category
1956 99 Drama, Romance, The Criterion Collection
Director Language
Douglas Sirk English
Lauren Bacall, Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone, Robert Stack

Written on the Wind

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What's it About

Dissolute Texas oilman Kyle Hadley (Stack) woos lovely secretary Lucy Moore (Bacall) away from his best friend Mitch (Hudson), but harbors doubts after they marry that the child she's carrying is really his. Motivated by jealousy, Kyle's nymphomaniac sibling Marylee (Malone) inflames his fears, setting the stage for a violent confrontation with ruinous consequences.

Why we love it

Douglas Sirk's stirring melodrama about the meltdown of an oil-baron family is a high-strung potboiler mixing rage, impotence, money, sex, anxiety, and murder in one flaming concoction. Visually sumptuous and redolent with garish colors to match the Hadleys' bursting emotions, "Wind" boasts the fantastic talents of Hudson and Bacall as straight-arrow types in a hellish situation. The chiseled Stack is a mess of masculine anguish as hard-drinking Kyle, and Robert Keith is excellent as the Hadley patriarch. Still, it's Oscar winner Dorothy Malone who takes the prize for her outlandishly catty turn as Marylee. "Wind" may not be subtle, but it is a whirlwind of (melo)dramatic delights.

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?"