Written on the Wind
Edition no. 96
Douglas Sirk’s Technicolor expressionism reached a fever pitch with this operatic tragedy, which finds the director pushing his florid visuals and his critiques of American culture to their subversive extremes. Alcoholism, nymphomania, impotence, and deadly jealousy—these are just some of the toxins coursing through a massively wealthy, degenerate Texan oil family. When a sensible secretary (Lauren Bacall) has the misfortune of marrying the clan’s neurotic scion (Robert Stack), it drives a wedge between him and his lifelong best friend (Rock Hudson) that unleashes a maelstrom of psychosexual angst and fury. Featuring an unforgettably debauched, Oscar-winning supporting performance by Dorothy Malone and some of Sirk’s most eye-popping mise-en-scène, Written on the Wind is as perverse a family portrait as has ever been splashed across the screen.
- Acting for Douglas Sirk, a 2008 documentary featuring archival interviews with Douglas Sirk; actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone; and producer Albert Zugsmith
- New interview with film scholar Patricia White about the film and melodrama
- An essay by filmmaker and critic Blair McClendon