19 October 2005 | dbdumonteil
Wild horses cannot drag me away....!
1976:I've just bought the new Bowie album "Station to station" and there's a track I find quite intriguing;it 's called "Wild is the wind" .Bowie gives a grandiose overblown rendition which I love from the first listening.The authors are Tiomkin/Washington;at the time I did not know them at all,and I must confess I barely knew Cukor (I'd seen "gaslight" and that was all).For thirty years ,I've been hoping to have the opportunity to see the movie whose song I've been playing for years (still am)
2005:After watching most of Cukor's filmography ,I finally saw "Wild is the wind" today.I was eagerly waiting for the song and there's more suspense cause the movie does not begin with the cast and credits.After the five-minute prologue that's it!Well it's terribly different.It's sung by Johnny Mathis (not Nina Simone)and I must admit...it's not what I expected.It's typically fifties melodrama song .
Now the movie.A movie which features Anna Magnani cannot be bad but I must say she's better in her native Italy (with Rossellini,Visconti,Pasolini et al).The Anthonys - Quinn the Eskimo and Anthony the Method - are good thespians and the story is interesting.An aging Italian whose wife passed away has her sister fly from Italy to marry her.And he begins to shape her personality, to break her as he does for the wild horse,in a nutshell,to make her a brand new Rosetta her first beloved wife.Symbolism is a bit overdone,ponderous (the horse,the ewe)but the actors can get away with it with gusto.Anna Magnani's metamorphosis during the movie is stunning,from a rather ugly gauche little woman with bags under her eyes to a bright Mediterranean beauty.Clint Eastwood might have remembered the lesson when he filmed Meryl Streep in his celebrated "bridges of Madison County" ,a return to the glorious fifties melodrama.
Not a great Cukor,but a must for fans of melodramas and/or Magnani.