The ultimate in lush melodrama, WRITTEN ON THE WIND is, along with IMITATION OF LIFE, Douglas Sirk's finest directorial effort, and one of the most notable critiques of the American family ever made.
A Texas oil baron (Stack) has a whirlwind romance with a secretary (Bacall) and then marries her, but later has doubts as to whether the child she is expecting is really his. Stacks's nymphomaniac sister (Malone) stokes up his suspicions that his best friend, geologist Rock Hudson, is really the
father, and sets off a series of larger-than-life confrontations and crises from which no-one escapes lightly.
WRITTEN ON THE WIND successfully combines all the elements of the genre that has has become synonymous with Sirk's name. Sirk's melodrama, though, diverges from what is usually understood by that term to encompass a highly developed sense of ironic social critique. Some critics have seen his
sumptuous visual style, full of parody and cliche, as a kind of Brechtian distancing that draws attention to the artificiality of the film medium, in turn commenting on the hollowness of middle-class American life. The lake in WRITTEN ON THE WIND, for example, is presented as a patently artificial
studio interior, ironically pointing up the romantic self-delusion with which Malone sees her world.
Sign up and add shows to get the latest updates about your favorite shows - Start Now
- 1. mixed-ish Review: The black-ish Spin-off Gets Being Mixed Race Right
- 2. There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel for Jo on Grey's Anatomy
- 3. Survivor: Rob Cesternino Reveals His Favorite Island of the Idols Players – and How He Became a Survivor Legend
- 4. Alfred Tries to Dump Sandra In this Pennyworth Sneak Peek
- 5. Chicago P.D.'s Season 7 Premiere Will Finally Provide Answers About Antonio's Absence
- 6. Where to Stream Downton Abbey
- 7. Here Are the Episodes of Netflix's Criminal to Watch First