30 January 2005 | gayeshortland
my forty-year search rewarded
There is little to add to the eloquent appreciations of Wild River by other users. Still, I want to pay my tribute. My father took me to see the film when I was a little girl and it made such an impression on me I have been searching for it for years. Odd, since I remembered nothing of the plot, retaining only fleeting images of autumn colours, Lee Remick's autumnal hair, the old ferry, an indelible impression of Montgomery Clift's face, the old woman surrounded by still 'figures in a landscape'. And the creation of a unique atmosphere so tangible, so lyrical, so elegiac it stayed with me for 40+ years. I've been wanting to know why it clung to me so. And wondering why it seemed to have disappeared without trace. This Christmas, in the fullness of time, my niece presented me with the DVD and I have at last seen it again. Why did it affect me so profoundly? That one's easy. Why had the film disappeared. That one's complex, as you know. What I hadn't expected was that stunning performance from the incomparable Jo Van Fleet. No Oscar? Were they mad? It is intensely interesting and sobering to reflect how politics can hold art hostage.