peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2022 07 24 WildRiver

Wild River (1960)

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More Elia Kazan completism. An old biddy (Jo Van Fleet under heavy makeup) decides she's not going to leave her island home when the FDR Feds decide to flood the Tennessee Valley to reduce flooding circa 1931. That goes as you'd expect. There's some unreconstructed racial politics which also goes as you'd expect. I actually enjoyed Montgomery Clift's G-man performance; he's as wooden and inexpressive as ever but he delivered about three lines just perfectly. One of those was to lovelorn widow Lee Remick, who mostly hadn't got a lot of room to move:

just after both have had their lights punched out by the local heavy
Montgomery Clift: You were great up there. [pregnant pause] Marry me?
Lee Remick: [says nothing]
Clift: I know I'll probably regret it, and I'm sure you'll regret it... but... get your hat, and a coat, wash up. Alright?
Remick: [nods yes]

Barbara Loden played his secretary, hiding behind her specs. She later married Kazan.

A. H. Weiler at the time.