HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Something Wild The Frightened Woman
Year: 1961
Director: Jack Garfein
Stars: Carroll Baker, Ralph Meeker, Mildred Dunnock, Jean Stapleton, Martin Kosleck, Charles Watts, Clifton James, George L. Smith, Doris Roberts, Ken Chapin, Anita Cooper, Ginny Baker, Tanya Lopert, William Hickey, Diane Ladd, Logan Ramsey, Peg Shirley
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: College student Mary Ann Robinson (Carroll Baker) alights on the platform after taking a night train to her stop at this New York station and proceeds to make her way home through the darkness. She takes a short cut through the park and begins to feel slightly anxious what with nobody about, but then disaster strikes as a figure emerges from the bushes and grabs her, dragging her into the undergrowth and raping her. After the attacker abandons her Mary Ann lies in shock for a few minutes, then gathers her belongings and fixes her clothes, continuing her journey in a daze. Once at the house she shares with her parents, she sneaks upstairs without waking them and bathes, then cuts up her clothes and flushes them down the toilet...

Something Wild for some reason had its title borrowed for the Jonathan Demme film of almost twenty-five years later, which could have been because that too had an unpredictable, female-led plot, or it could have been because it was too good a title not to use more than once. Whichever, this 1961 effort was a labour of love for star Carroll Baker and her then-husband Jack Garfein, a theatre director who was making his second and last feature before returning to the stage. They would break up in a messy divorce at the end of the decade and poor working prospects in America forced Baker to take to Europe for a wage packet, both of which gave rise to some interesting movies that were, and continue to be, looked down on by too many.

This apparent right turn into trash had its precedents as Baker was considered a sex symbol from her first major performance as Baby Doll, a state of affairs which made her feel rather constricted in what she wanted to do with her career, though she was far from the first actress to find herself typecast. But that's what made Something Wild so striking, as it amply illustrated she wasn't just famous because of her platinum blonde, glamorous looks, she really could act as well, and this demonstrated she really should have enjoyed more chances to prove that. For much of the story Mary Ann does not say very much at all, but Baker with her Method acting managed to convey the turmoil that her character could not bring herself to share with anyone else.

This silent trauma Mary Ann is going through after her rape is brought out not only by a sense of what she is suffering as we watch her, but as a sense of what she was like before, a carefree young woman of the early nineteen-sixties whose main worry is her domineering mother (Mildred Dunnock), and that's all in Baker's performance. She skillfully navigated around her character's apparently irrational behaviour as we know there's nothing irrational about it, for the only people who know what she is labouring under are us in the audience, and there's no way we can help her when she leaves home, takes a dingy room to live in and gives up her studies to work in a department store where her shyness does not go down at all well with her co-workers who grow suspicious of her.

As if that were not bad enough, the city is caught in a heatwave, making Mary Ann's life all the harder to take, and again there's nobody she can turn to so events draw in, contriving to leave her walking one fateful day towards a bridge over the river whose water glistens invitingly in the sunshine. Then the film took a strange turn, not romantic exactly but our heroine does land in a relationship when just as she is about to jump, a pair of large hands grab her and stop her. They belong to Mike, played by tough guy actor Ralph Meeker evidently attempting, like Baker, to extend his range, for Mike may be a guardian angel of sorts, but he is also as troubled as the woman he has saved, and after he persuades her to rest in his basement flat he tells her he's not going to let her out. One damn thing after another then, and it's at this point where the drama becomes like a two-hander play that Something Wild doesn't seem very wild at all and loses many of those in the audience. If that doesn't see them off, the emotionally impenetrable ending surely will, but an Aaron Copland score over Saul Bass titles will always intrigue.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3271 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: