A lot of talk, albeit most of it brilliant, is what this film will be remembered for. Hellman's play of 1914, adapted by the author for the screen, takes place over many years and is the story of three generations in love and war. Young is a Europe-based US diplomat, a weak-willed
appeaser who thinks the political situation in 1922 Fascist Italy will go away if nobody makes waves. Young is married unhappily to Richards. There's nothing wrong with either of them, but there is also no passion in the relationship. He yearns for the arms of Sidney, the sharp and principled
newspaperwoman he should have wed. Their illicit romance takes them through several years in many countries and serves to soften the sharp political comments the author makes. Digges is Young's father, a retired publisher who can't understand how his son waffles when the world is changing--Italy
has become a joke, and Germany is on the verge of dictatorship. Dick, Young's son, fights in the war and has to have his leg amputated. He gives a brilliant speech about the folly of war in which he asserts that all the blood spilled, the legs gone, the faces crushed have been for nil because wars
are made by people who never die in them. Basserman plays a Prussian diplomat, Young's counterpart, who hears the thunder of guns and decides to retire to neutral Switzerland at the moment when the British are giving in to Hitler at Munich.
THE SEARCHING WIND is a message picture, however, and therein lies its failure. After a half-decade of war, nobody seemed to want a picture about it. War movies were a success while the battles were raging, but peace had settled on the world and people wanted entertainment. As good as Hellman's
writing and Dieterle's direction were, the film was released at the wrong time. The studio knew they had a hard sell on their hands and tried to market the picture as a love triangle involving Young, Richards, and Sidney, but the ploy didn't help. Digges was outstanding in the role he first
performed in the play. Most of the film takes place in the 1930s; it would have been a much more successful movie had it been made and shown at that time, when reality and fiction were blending into newspaper headlines.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: A lot of talk, albeit most of it brilliant, is what this film will be remembered for. Hellman's play of 1914, adapted by the author for the screen, takes place over many years and is the story of three generations in love and war. Young is a Europe-based U… (more)