In a drunken rage, Robert Stack smashes a bottle of booze against the wall. Lauren Bacall, at her bedroom curtain, faints. Gunshots, death, tears.
Written On The Wind is about the twisted, fatal connections between sex, power and money.
Characters are arranged into inverted mirror images of each other, good facing evil – but everyone ultimately inhabits a complex contradictory position in the impossible scheme of things.
Dorothy Malone – marvellous as the quintessential bad girl who drinks, smokes, loves jazz, picks up guys at oil derricks and sends her father plummeting down the stairs – is particularly riveting.
Few films are at once as visceral and insightful as Written On The Wind – a melodramatic soap opera with passion, seriousness, and intelligence.
Director Douglas Sirk specialised in films that were once dismissed by highbrows and lowbrows alike as “women’s weepies”. When they were finally rediscovered in the early 1970s at film festivals around the world, the audaciousness and true subversive nature of his work was appreciated for the first time.
Robert J Wilke
Dr Paul Cochrane