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      Wild River

      Released May 22, 1960 1h 50m Drama List
      92% Tomatometer 13 Reviews 83% Audience Score 500+ Ratings Eager to further his career, ambitious Tennessee Valley Authority administrator Chuck Glover (Montgomery Clift) journeys to a small town to oversee the clearing of the valley in preparation for the construction of a new dam. His plans meet with opposition in the form of the town's stubborn matriarch, 80-year-old Ella Garth (Jo Van Fleet), who refuses to leave. As Glover attempts to convince Garth, he falls in love with her granddaughter, Carol Garth Baldwin (Lee Remick). Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (13) Critics Reviews
      Jonas Mekas Village Voice Wild River, in its preoccupation with the industrial period, in its mixture of patriotism, melodrama, and machines, resembles very closely the so called "tractor films" of Stalin's Russia. Jul 27, 2021 Full Review A.H. Weiler New York Times Both sections of the flavorful, vernacular-filled screen play have been given professional treatment. Feb 19, 2015 Full Review Wendy Ide Times (UK) Shooting predominantly on location in Tennessee, Kazan makes evocative use of the mist that hangs over the river like a lingering regret. Rated: 4/5 Feb 19, 2015 Full Review Philip Concannon The Skinny It's an expansive work, distinguished by exceptional location photography, but, as ever, (Kazan's) focus is on complex interpersonal relationships. Rated: 5/5 Mar 16, 2015 Full Review Tony Sloman Radio Times Montgomery Clift gives a superbly tender performance in one of his last and most tortured roles, and Lee Remick is touching as his confidante. Rated: 4/5 Feb 19, 2015 Full Review Film4 Staff Film4 The grim inevitability of the eviction gives the film a melancholy power. Feb 19, 2015 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Matthew D A quiet and reflective piece of old Americana. Director Elia Kazan's Western romance drama Wild River (1960) is a fascinating picture. Kazan's sincere and tranquil direction is engaging. Kazan cares about the black people and working class clearly here. Standing up to racism and inequality is interesting in this gritty film. I like how he shows both sides of the argument to moving someone off their property to build a dam over a lethal river. The plot is remarkably similar to The Fugitive Kind from the same year with Marlon Brando. Writer Paul Osborn adapts authors William Bradford Huie and Borden Deal neat historical narrative. Wild River takes on empathy for the poorest of Americans without luxuries. I found the central romantic plot between Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick wonderful. Wild River feels like a lost picture of old Americana that reflects our hardest traditions, cruel racism, gentle romantic feelings, and nuanced expressions. Wild River is easily one of Elia Kazan's strongest films up there with On the Waterfront or East of Eden. Montgomery Clift is compelling as the sensible government representative Chuck Glover. He tries to reason with logic and some pathos to appeal, but to no avail. His piercing eyes, soft spoken nature, subtle acting, and realistic style feel so modern. He never tries to go big, but be heartfelt and earnest in every scene. Clift is handsome, caring, and lovable as Wild River's romantic hero Chuck Glover. He's got real romantic chemistry with Lee Remick. Lee Remick is gorgeous as the sweet young lady Carol Garth Baldwin. Her gentle manner and stunning blue eyes are mesmerizing. She is totally captivating, beautiful, and tender, especially with her scenes opposite Clift. She is lovely and has a tougher personality after all her heartache and suffering in poverty while having to take care of her children. Her cautious looks of longing and curiosity at Clift are riveting. I love her little singing passage with a folk tune. Jo Van Fleet is tough as the bitter elderly lady Ella Garth, who refuses to sell her land to the government for their dam. She makes interesting arguments for her land, against government expansion, and against taming nature like the wild river. You'd think she's just bitter and sentimental, but she is also speaking for the smaller people with no voice and tradition, even if it'll keep them all poor. Barbara Loden is adorable as the squeaky voiced secretary Betty Jackson. It's so neat to see her so young, a decade before she famously goes on to direct Wanda in 1970. I did not know she was married to Kazan. Bruce Dern cameos as Jack Roper in his film debut. James Earl Jones' father Robert Earl Jones cameos as Sam Johnson with his cute dog. I love his adoration for his old hound dog. Jay C. Flippen is funny as the blunt old redneck Hamilton Garth. Editor Wlliam Reynolds cuts Wild River with striking transitions from breezy winds in the trees to wide shots of desolate brush. Cinematographer Ellsworth Fredericks uses gripping medium shots of Clift and Remick to keep us together with this odd couple of thoughtful lovers. I love the far wide shots of the river, old shack, and impoverished interiors from art directors Lyle R. Wheeler and Herman A. Blumenthal. Set decorators Walter M. Scott and Joseph Kish put antique guitars, paintings, and other aged props. Composer Kenyon Hopkins' forlorn Country folk plucks away sorrowfully in the background. Sound designer Dick Vorisek and Eugene Grossman focus on the patter of the rain or footsteps crunching on twigs. Costume designer Anna Hill Johnstone makes everyone look so natural in rustic clothes. Makeup artist Ben Nye and Helen Turpin's hairstyling is very nice. Lee Remick looks incredible. In short, Wild River is a quiet slow burn of fiery passion and hardened feelings. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 11/07/23 Full Review j f A real "Tale of the Dragon". Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 07/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Just about everything is superb. The music, while generally appropriate, is a bit heavy-handed, and should have included an autoharp. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/16/23 Full Review jim b One of the greatest movies ever made about human DIGNITY. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/30/23 Full Review Audience Member A Movie! Remick is mesmerizing! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Audience Member One of director Elia Kazan's finest works, with an inspired script by Paul Osborne and exceptional performances by all, especially Jo Van Fleet as the 80 year old grandmother (played when she was 40). The small town Tennessee locations and the use of local talent add greatly to its authenticity. Beautiful and at times heartbreaking, it's a must-see for any Kazan lover, and for anyone interested in a film that honestly explores the human condition under extremely difficult circumstances. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Wild River

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis Eager to further his career, ambitious Tennessee Valley Authority administrator Chuck Glover (Montgomery Clift) journeys to a small town to oversee the clearing of the valley in preparation for the construction of a new dam. His plans meet with opposition in the form of the town's stubborn matriarch, 80-year-old Ella Garth (Jo Van Fleet), who refuses to leave. As Glover attempts to convince Garth, he falls in love with her granddaughter, Carol Garth Baldwin (Lee Remick).
      Director
      Elia Kazan
      Producer
      Elia Kazan
      Production Co
      20th Century Fox
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      May 22, 1960, Limited
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Mar 1, 2013
      Runtime
      1h 50m
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