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The Wild Party

R 1975 1h 35m Drama LGBTQ+ List
40% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 15% Audience Score 50+ Ratings
A comic hopes to make a comeback by staging a lavish party and showing a movie he has made to Hollywood bigwigs. Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (5) Critics Reviews
Steve Warren The Barb (Atlanta) The picture is a real sleep inducer, predictable at every turn. May 9, 2023 Full Review Jacoba Atlas Los Angeles Free Press The Wild Party is a disastrous attempt at combining movie magazine kitsch with social realism. Nov 19, 2019 Full Review Fernando Trueba El Pais (Spain) The Wild Party is a crepuscular ballad about the numerous artists whose careers were quietly eclipsed with silent cinema. [Full Review in Spanish] Aug 2, 2019 Full Review Michael Szymanski Rated: 3/5 Sep 23, 2005 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 2/5 Jun 11, 2005 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (4) audience reviews
dave s The Wild Party is an early offering from the team of James Ivory (director) and Ismael Merchant (producer) and offers all of the glossy production details one has come to expect from the pair. Unfortunately, once all of the glitter is wiped away, the movie is pretty weak. The premise is interesting – a silent film star (James Coco), trying to revive his career as talkies sweep the industry, hosts a party with his wife (Raquel Welch) to introduce his latest film. The dialogue is trite, the acting is wooden, many scenes drag on far too long (Welch singing Singapore Sally, for example), and the character narrating the events via poetry is wildly annoying. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member Sometimes it’s apparent why a movie was made, whether or not it hit its intended mark. A Michael Bay film (pick one, any one) may not even flirt with the idea of high art, but at least you know what to except walking into it. He delivers what any reasonable person might expect from the twentieth installment of giant robots pummeling each other silhouetted against the American flag. With some other films, that isn’t always the case. You can stare at the screen for hours, scratching your head and wondering what the point is. The questions are the same. Who is this for? What were these filmmakers trying to do? Who at the studio decided this was exactly what they were looking for, gave it a big stamp of approval, and shoved it into the world? Those stories, it turns out, can be much more interesting than those of the gold standards we hold up as models of cinema. The making of “The Wild Party” (1975) is a story of the little indie studio that could, or rather the little grindhouse mill that could. American International Pictures carved a little niche for themselves by churning out B-movie fare guaranteed to turn a profit overseas. It wasn’t big money, but it was enough to keep their little movie mill chugging along. But company head Samuel Z. Arkoff wasn’t content with hamster wheel business model. He decided it was time for AIP to start contending with the big dogs. This the seed for “The Wild Party” was planted. Directed by then-unknown James Ivory (he had only made art films in India until then) and starring the in vogue Raquel Welch, “The Wild Party” was supposed to be AIP’s ticket to award season glamor and deep pockets. They adapted the scandalous Prohibition-era poem by Joseph March of the same name and set off to make what is essentially a sexploitation film set at the advent of talkies. Except that's not exactly what makes it to the screen. “The Wild Party,” as it finally manifested, is a pedantic, meandering mess of a film that takes a couple of good ideas and sends them adrift in a sea of clutter. We begin with silent film star Jolly Grimm (James Coco), attempting to sell his latest mute comedy to his former bankrollers. But no one is interested now that sound has married picture. Had the film stayed focused on Jolly’s spiral into irrelevance, it would have been a profound character study. Instead, it wanders into overlong stretches with side-characters that often contribute nothing except minutes to the runtime. You almost get the feeling that Ivory wanted to hew close to the contemplative art films that he was used to, but there’s not enough of that for this to be avante garde. It’s just slow and mean-spirited. By the time the story devolves into sexual abandon and violence, there’s almost nothing to care about anymore. The scenes are so long and so devoid of tension that when blood spills, there’s nothing for the audience to do but shrug and toss their popcorn cartons on the way out. AIP wanted to make a film that pushed the boundaries of decency (like their made-for-Russia exports), but seemed to get cold feet when cutting it together. It’s a toothless film that wants to embrace its raunch but blushes and turns away at the last minute. There are far worse mid-70s stumbles to feast upon than “The Wild Party” and far more spectacular flops. The lesson here is that losing focus and conviction can doom a film to the forgotten land of bland monotony. Oh, and don’t hire Raquel Welch. I hear she’s a nightmare to work with. 4.1/10 Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Audience Member Good cinematography in the 70's looks better than almost anything made now. That is the main reason to recommend the Wild Party- the clear, vivid colors of 1975 really held my interest. Otherwise, this film is a really odd curio. Where else can you find James Coco and Perry King vying for the affections of Raquel Welch all mixed in with period musical set pieces? Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/01/23 Full Review Audience Member At this "Wild Party" there's sex, alcohol and murder. James Coco plays an aging Hollywood star in the 1920s who gives the party so everyone can see his new picture. Problem is no one really cares about this picture, except for mild applause by a few sycophants. Seems the public wants talkies and action pictures. Poor guy! His girll Queenie (played by beautiful Raquel Welch) goes off with the stud (chiseled Perry King). What's he gonna do? The problem is the movie is a combination of comedy, musical, and drama. The comedy is light, there's no mystery in the drama, and the musical numbers are the most memorable thing about this movie. Ivory is an intellectual director so is not really suited to a movie hat is visceral, the art direction, costume designs, and old mansion are the best elements. A misfire though I found some parts worth watching. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 01/20/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Wild Party

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis A comic hopes to make a comeback by staging a lavish party and showing a movie he has made to Hollywood bigwigs.
James Ivory
Ismail Merchant
Walter Marks
Production Co
American International, Merchant Ivory Productions
Drama, LGBTQ+
Original Language
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 16, 2008
1h 35m
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