An absolutely dismal picture, THE WILD PARTY features Coco as a silent movie comedian whose career is falling apart as talking pictures arrive. He plans to release one last, great silent epic, and to that end he invites several Hollywood bigwigs to his mansion in hopes of finding a distributor. Welch, his mistress, continues encouraging Coco, though it...read more
An absolutely dismal picture, THE WILD PARTY features Coco as a silent movie comedian whose career is falling apart as talking pictures arrive. He plans to release one last, great silent epic, and to that end he invites several Hollywood bigwigs to his mansion in hopes of finding a
distributor. Welch, his mistress, continues encouraging Coco, though it is obvious to everyone attending the soiree that the film is a bomb. Liquor starts flowing and Coco's mood grows worse with each drink. King, a rising young star, makes a pass at Welch, which infuriates Coco. Ferra, a dancer
who hopes Coco will give her a break, finds her sister in a bed with another party guest. She is highly upset and turns to Coco for sympathy. She kisses the comedian, but another drunken guest is convinced Coco is a lecherous old man taking advantage of the girl. He starts beating on Coco, but
King stops the fight. Coco is ungrateful, though, and Welch ends up in bed with King. Bolling, a friend of Welch's, tries to seduce Dukes, Coco's screenwriter, but she is rejected by him. She responds by angrily telling Coco that he is too old for the much younger Welch. Coco goes off the deep
end, and when he sees Welch and King coming out of a bedroom, he shoots them both. Dukes is hurt as well, but survives, going on to write an epic poem about this wild night.
THE WILD PARTY is obviously inspired by the infamous Fatty Arbuckle-Virgina Rappe case, though the true-life incidents and this film bear no resemblance to each other. Instead the film rolls around in lurid glee, unfolding the ridiculous plot with one piece of sensationalism after another. The
film originally had a 120-minute running time, but AIP, realizing this would never do, cut some 20 minutes from the film. This 100-minute version was later pared down to 90 minutes, infuriating director Ivory. "The whole thing is a mess," he said. "Scenes have been cut and transposed, and scenes
which originally were cut have been restored. They removed a lot of the poetry and cut scenes which were important to establish characterizations." Whether Ivory's arguments had any merit will probably never be known, but the final film got exactly what it deserved. AIP gave this trash only a
token release, and it quickly disappeared from the theaters. Songs include "The Wild Party," "Funny Man," "Not That Queenie of Mine," "Singapore Sally," "Herbert Hoover Drag," "Ain't Nothing Bad about Feeling Good," and "Sunday Morning Blues" (Larry Rosenthal, Walter Marks).