HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Harpoon
Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, The
Dark Phoenix
No Mercy
Arctic
Fate of Lee Khan, The
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie
Ladyworld
Rocketman
Kid Who Would Be King, The
Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
America America
Darkest Minds, The
Along Came Jones
Hummingbird Project, The
Under the Table You Must Go
Harry Birrell Presents Films of Love and War
Hanging Tree, The
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Scooby-Doo! Camp Scare
Itsy Bitsy
Witchmaker, The
Prey, The
If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
Happy Death Day 2U
Full Moon High
Strange But True
Kamikaze 1989
Never Grow Old
Time of Your Life, The
Mountain Men, The
Epic
Best Before Death
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Isabelle
Non-Stop New York
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood
Oblomov
Alita: Battle Angel
We the Animals
   
 
Newest Articles
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
Marvel's Least Loved and Most Loved: Fantastic 4 vs Avengers: Endgame
Battle of the Skeksis: The Dark Crystal Now and Then
American Madness: Sam Fuller's Shock Corridor and The Naked Kiss on Blu-ray
Flight of the Navigator and the 80s Futurekids
Trains and Training: The British Transport Films Collection Volume 13 on DVD
Holiday from Hell: In Bruges on Blu-ray
The Comedy Stylings of Kurt Russell: Used Cars and Captain Ron
Robot Rocked: The Avengers Cybernauts Trilogy on Blu-ray
Hammer's Bloodthirsty Bad Girls 1970: Lust for a Vampire and Countess Dracula
Hammer to Fall: Kiss Me Deadly on Blu-ray
Home of the Grave: The House That Dripped Blood and Asylum on Blu-ray
   
 
  Wild River The Rising TideBuy this film here.
Year: 1960
Director: Elia Kazan
Stars: Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Jo Van Fleet, Albert Salmi, Jay C. Flippen, James Westerfield, Barbara Loden, Frank Overton, Malcolm Atterbury, Bruce Dern
Genre: Drama
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: There had been a history of flooding in this part of Tennessee, so the government made up its mind to do something about it and resolved to build a series of dams to tame the river and provide power for the locals. This meant that everyone living nearby had to be displaced, but new homes were provided for them in better areas. However, there was one family who did not wish to be moved and they were situated on an island in the middle of the river. Their matriarch was Ella Garth (Jo Van Fleet), and when Chuck Glover (Montgomery Clift), the new official of the authority to clear the land, arrived he found problems on his hands...

Wild River was reputedly its director Elia Kazan's favourite of his works, and you can see why as it's a deeply felt and soulful examination of a society in transition, and not an easy transition at that. Kazan had tackled social issues before, most famously in On the Waterfront, but this was a far more liberal look at the country where the divides were not so black and white. Clift's Chuck is going to cause a lot of trouble and he knows it, but he has a job to do and ploughs ahead regardless until he finds that real life tends to throw up complications for those who believe steadfastly that they are in the right.

Yet is Chuck really so sure of himself? He's played by that master of screen self-doubt Clift, and his oft-mentioned vulnerability was well placed for a film whose sensitive hero seems no match for the community and its entrenched conventions. Take his initial confrontation with the Garth family where they either give him the silent treatment or warn him away until one member, smiling but incensed at Chuck's suggestion that Ella is senile, throws him in the water. We can hardly credit that this man will ever get anyone to change their ways.

And the problems don't end there. It's clear that Chuck is a nice guy, but as this film is set in the South during the 1930s his progressive attitudes rankle with the locals, especially his insistence on allowing black workers to operate on the clearance alongside whites, and not only that but with equal pay into the bargain. We sense that this will not end well when Chuck is paid a visit by some leaders of the community after making an agreement with Ella's black workers that they will be given better paid jobs by the authority so that they may leave the island. The bully boy tactics these powerful racists use to keep the blacks down are the only aspect intended to get the audience angry.

Yet for most of this Wild River is quiet, maybe simmering but low key nevertheless. The sole aspect that does not quite come off is Chuck's romance with Ella's widowed, single mother granddaughter Carol (Lee Remick) which seems contrived and hard to believe. In spite of this, Remick offers a rather lovely performance as a woman beaten down by life just as Chuck is about to be, and they find support in each other's frailties. There's a lot of understanding in Paul Osborn's script, and the two leads bring this out, not to mention the superb Van Fleet as one of those people whose confidence in their opinions being correct, even when evidence points to the contrary, sums up the difficulties the weaker Chuck must face. We can see there is a great change coming to this land, not only geographically but socially as well, and in its allegorical manner this film relates that it's not going to be easy, but it will be worthwhile. Music by Kenyon Hopkins.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3420 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: