Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Something Unforgettable! "Something Wild"

(I have this poster!)
I owe my film fondness to my Mom who never said no if I wanted to watch something on TV as these were the good old days before ratings and growing up in New York in the 50's and 60's was a paradise of fantastic TV and revival theaters and every other kind of theater. I saw a lot of things as a kid. And 3 of them stayed with me all these years because they have become sort of "lost" films. Home Sweet Homicide which I've talked about. The Green Eyed Blonde, more on that in a future blog. And Something Wild starring Carroll Baker and Ralph Meeker! I couldn't believe that this movie is NOW available on DVD so John (ok, well HE paid for it!) got it for me for Christmas! It is even more dark and stylish and disturbing and avant-garde and fabulous than I remembered.

Carroll Baker is a teenage girl who one day, says goodbye to her friends and takes the subway home where she has to walk through a park. She is lovely and happy and skips across the street and then...someone grabs her and rapes her in the bushes. Horrifying!
The rest of the film deals with how she survives this and her reactions which include possibly throwing herself off a bridge and into the river... something she is about to do, when someone grabs her and saves her. A garage mechanic happening by on a break. Ralph Meeker (I love him in this!!!) plays this role oddly sympathetically and you will have to see this amazing film for yourself to find out what happens between these two.
The score is by Aaron Copland and the titles are by the best title designer of that or any era, Saul Bass. The movie is filmed in New York and forever captures that lost world of seedy apartments, old Woolworths and the people that inhabited the city at that time. When I ordered this from Amazon I couldn't believe all the comments by people who'd remembered this movie the way I did! It shows you what an impact this powerful film had on us back then!
Here are some interesting clips from Youtube:
The old trailer, not the clearest thing ever, but worth seeing.

And this is an interview with director Jack Garfein:
Apparently Something Wild has been rediscovered and is now appreciated as the art film it is!