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WILD RIVER: good movie


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Wow.

Note: I am posting this using my phone, which I hate, so if anything doesn't make sense blame voice transcription. (EdIT EDIT: HA! It's kind of hilarious that it Misheard and mixed up so many instances of my gender pronouns. I think I'm just going to leave them that way for now.)

This was so good. Big thank you to TCM for finally showing this, my TV Guide said it was a premier.

I actually watch this with my parents, which is a pretty rare occurrence, but a very good idea because my father illuminated me on the backstory of the Tennessee River and Tennessee River Authority, which I was pretty unfamiliar with. Apparently the Tennessee River used to flood all the time killing people left and right, so the government stepped in and put in a dam. But that meant they had to buy up and flood lots of private land. Tennessee being what it is, they had a hard time getting some of the people off. This is the story of one of those people.

SHe's played by Jo van Fleet in really convincing old age makeup, and she kicks ****. Van Fleet is so God damn amazing in this movie, that I cannot not use expletives in describing her performance. It is inexcusable that she was not nominated for an Oscar for this.

Her granddaughter is Lee Remick, who brings to mind that wonderful quote from one critic once in regard to Vivien Leigh: " she is so beautiful she need not be so talented, and so talented she need not be so beautiful." He is amazing in this. She absolutely opens herself up anyway the few other actresses ever did on screen. And she is so amazingly beautiful. There were shots where she really reminded me of Kim Basinger. It's also pretty inexcusable that she was not nominated for an Oscar for this. Her character is terrific too. The women in this movie Kick-****. Again, sorry, but impossible to form words right now without using expletives for effect to drive home just how damn good this movie is.

Montgomery Clift is the guy who's working for the Tennessee Valley Authority and who has to kick Joe Van Fleet off early on. She is delicate. She is fragile. He is still surprisingly handsome. He is also amazing. I can actually forgive his not being nominated for an Oscar, solely on the basis of the fact that 1960 was an incredible year for lead performances by an actor. But he is also amazing. It's funny the way that the gender roles are almost reversed in this film, the two women are the heart the soul the force-the most truly admirable characters in the whole thing.

It's a gorgeous movie. Seriously, there were shots of it it looks like something that could have been done digitally today. Beautiful to look at and every single thing.

I think it is entirely possible that ELIA KAZAN was a real rat bastard of human being, but he was a brilliant director. One of the five best ever. His feelings are just so damn real.

I don't know I might just go ahead and post this now, in case it gets lost. More edits to come I'm sure.

Highly recommended. Don't anyone spoil the ending for anyone who hasn't seen it yet.

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Okay, my internets is working again, so I can maybe state what I said below more concisely:

 

At the risk of overhyping it to where those of you who have not seen it are ultimately underhwelmed- I really loved this movie. It was an exceptional film with three exceptional performances; if I had to single out one, I must say LEE REMICK is AMAZING in this. It is also beautifully shot. It is NOT fast-paced; it is not action packed, although it does not lack for action.

 

It is a lovely film.

 

It is also a demanding film- requiring patience and emotional investment from the viewer, it is a film some may need to walk away from because the emotions are raw...having seen it the one time and loved it, I'll admit I'm not in a rush to review it.

 

but i really do recommend taking the challenge up; i don't remember the last time i felt so rewarded for having seen a film.

 

Would love to hear what the rest of you think, even if you didn't like it. **

 

**although, Really?

ps- enjoyed THE HELL out of Monty's SUTS DAY. 

 

TRIVIA TO FOLLOW...

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trivia copied and pasted from imdb.com entry for WILD RIVER (1960)

(SOME NOTES OF MY OWN)

 

 
Elia Kazan was always fond of this movie and sometimes even said it was his favorite of all the films he made. In the 1970s he tried to buy the rights so that he could re-release it to the public, but the studio's asking price was too high for him.
 
Lee Remick's favorite of all her films. LHF: As well it should be. Damn straight Lee.
 
omg- LHF:
While she was filming "Wild River" Lee Remick's husband was severely hurt in an auto accident, and she left the location shoot immediately. When she returned, she was given great support by co-star Montgomery Clift, who had been through a horrible car accident a few years earlier himself.
 
At the time of the film, Clift was an alcoholic. Kazan extracted a promise from him that he would not drink during the shoot. With the help of his sympathetic co-stars, Lee Remick and Jo Van Fleet, he kept his word.
 
 
June Carter Cash auditioned for the role of Carol. LHF; I CALL "GRAIN OF SALT" ON THIS ONE.
 
Lee Remick picked out two local Charleston kids to play her children. She chose the little girl because she looked like Lee at age 7. She chose the little boy because he loved hugging and kissing Lee.
 
The French magazine Cahiers du Cinema named this one of the best films of the year (it was released in France in 1962), at #6.
 
For the role of Chuck, Elia Kazan's first choice was Marlon Brando. LHF: THANK THE GOOD LORD JESUS WISER HEADS PREVAILED!
 
One morning Kazan saw actress Jo Van Fleet applying what appeared to be brown liver spots on her hands. Kazan told her it was unnecessary as the camera wouldn't be near enough to her to pick them up. The method actress replied that she was applying them for herself.
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  • 9 months later...

Well, lucky for me I have it copied because it's on later than I usually stay up for the START of a movie.

 

But I cannot agree with you more about what a fantastic film it is, especially Van Fleet's performance.

 

I have an old buddy( huhn!  We're ALL old now) whose Dad lived down there around those times and often would regale us with tales of the happenings. 

 

And I enjoy almost ANY movie in which one of my favorites, JAY C. FLIPPEN is up and around.  :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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Lorna, I agree with every word you wrote about Wild River. One of my favorite movies, a film that's more powerful because it's about the conflict of good vs. good. Every time I get a chance to vote in a poll for Lee Remick and Jo Van Fleet as the best of this year, I do. Two amazing performances.

 

Whenever I think of the best Hollywood portrayals of healthy female sexuality, I think of Lee Remick in Wild River and Deborah Kerr in The Sundowners. In his autobiography, Kazan wrote that Lee Remick was at this time in the early stages of a happy marriage, and this definitely shows.

 

The scene where Lee Remick sings "The Garden" to Clift as they drift across the river on the raft is one of my absolute favorites.

 

This is one of the best films ever made about the South.

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wouldn't rustic jo van fleet and her relatives qualify as deplorables? :D

 

here's TRA authority bureaucrat clift trying to convince jo van fleet that the decades of her rustic life meant nothing and to just forget about it so she and lee remick doan drown.

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wouldn't rustic jo van fleet and her relatives qualify as deplorables? :D

 

here's TRA authority bureaucrat clift trying to convince jo van fleet that the decades of her rustic life meant nothing and to just forget about it so she and lee remick doan drown.

they tried to rehash it on an episode of the waltons with a mountain branch of the family...

 

beulah bondi was the matriarch and morgan woodward was boone walton.

:D

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