Saturday, October 6, 2012

1960 - WILD RIVER, another impressive film from Elia Kazan

The federal government in the form of the Tennessee Valley Authority needs to evict an old woman and her family from their home in order to dam up the river and bring electricity to the region.  Conflicts over individual rights, racism and cultural differences create the drama.

Wild River is film making at a very high level.  The film was filmed in CinemaScope and benefits from a director who knows what he's doing with it for a change.  There is a lot of atmosphere in this film.  Kazan shot on location and really captures rural Tennessee. 

Kazan was also a pro when it came to directing actors.  Everyone in the cast delivers the goods from overly method actor Montgomery Cliff, Lee Remick and Jo Van Fleet as the matriarch of the family who Cliff is trying to evict are excellent.  But when you get right down to it everyone in the cast,  which includes scenery chewing actors like Jay C. Flippen and Albert Salmi are working at a very high level. 

For a film over 40 years old this is still very contemporary in the issues it raises regarding the role of government in the lives of people.

110 minutes.

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