Wild Is the Wind (1958)

110 or 114 mins | Drama | February 1958

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HISTORY

The working titles of this film were Furia , The Obsessed , Obsession and A Woman Obsessed . According to a Feb 1954 HR news item, producer Raymond Strauss purchased the rights to remake the 1946 film Furia , based on an original story by Vittorio Nino Novarese. Strauss intended to star Ann Sheridan in the project, but it was never made. According to a 30 Oct 1957 DV news story, producer Hal Wallis signed Anna Magnani to star in a film on her condition that it would be a remake of Furia , which starred Isa Pola and Rossano Brazzi, and was directed by Magnani's then-husband, Goffredo Alessandrini. Wallis showed the film to a number of screenwriters, including Arnold Schulman, who wrote the final screenplay, but none of the resulting scripts were acceptable to Wallis. According to a May 1956 HR news item, Eugene Frenke , who owned a screenplay by Philip Yordan based on Furia , signed a deal with Wallis to produce the film starring Magnani. It is not known if Frenke was involved with the final film, however.
       Schulman, in the Oct 1957 DV news story, stated that he later presented an original idea to Wallis, which bore no similarity to Furia in "line of dialogue, incident or character," and that the original idea became the basis for Wild Is the Wind . Although Schulman's subsequent contract stated that he would adapt Furia , Wallis, in Jan 1957, publicly stated that Magnani would not appear in Furia , and that ... More Less

The working titles of this film were Furia , The Obsessed , Obsession and A Woman Obsessed . According to a Feb 1954 HR news item, producer Raymond Strauss purchased the rights to remake the 1946 film Furia , based on an original story by Vittorio Nino Novarese. Strauss intended to star Ann Sheridan in the project, but it was never made. According to a 30 Oct 1957 DV news story, producer Hal Wallis signed Anna Magnani to star in a film on her condition that it would be a remake of Furia , which starred Isa Pola and Rossano Brazzi, and was directed by Magnani's then-husband, Goffredo Alessandrini. Wallis showed the film to a number of screenwriters, including Arnold Schulman, who wrote the final screenplay, but none of the resulting scripts were acceptable to Wallis. According to a May 1956 HR news item, Eugene Frenke , who owned a screenplay by Philip Yordan based on Furia , signed a deal with Wallis to produce the film starring Magnani. It is not known if Frenke was involved with the final film, however.
       Schulman, in the Oct 1957 DV news story, stated that he later presented an original idea to Wallis, which bore no similarity to Furia in "line of dialogue, incident or character," and that the original idea became the basis for Wild Is the Wind . Although Schulman's subsequent contract stated that he would adapt Furia , Wallis, in Jan 1957, publicly stated that Magnani would not appear in Furia , and that Schulman's work was an original screenplay. Following production, Wallis submitted credits for the film to Paramount, the distributor, listing Schulman with original screenplay; however, Paramount's legal department, recalling Wallis' original contract with Magnani, required that one of the writers of Furia be given credit to protect themselves.
       Wallis then encouraged Schulman to ask the Screen Writers Guild (SWG) to arbitrate. Information in the film's file at the AMPAS Library states that the SWG decided that because there had been source material, a credit reading "Based on a story by Vittorio Nino Novarese" should be given to the Italian writer of the original story, and that Schulman should be credited with screen story and screenplay. The AMPAS Library information also states that Novarese's name was dropped from the advertising. A summary of the Italian film reveals that the plot of the earlier film does bear some resemblance to that of Wild Is the Wind , in that the Italian film deals with an extra-marital affair between the wife of a horse breeder and her husband's groom.
       John Sturges was originally hired to direct Wild Is the Wind ; however, on 25 Mar 1957, a week before shooting was scheduled to begin, he withdrew from the project due to illness, according to contemporary news items. George Cukor, who took over direction, stated in a modern interview that Sturges left the project to replace Fred Zinnemann on The Old Man and the Sea (see above). A biography on Cukor states that Sturges left when it became apparent that the film would be more of a love story than an action picture. According to contemporary sources, most of the exteriors were shot on a sheep ranch in Gardnerville and Carson City, NV, and some shooting was done at the Reno airport in Nevada. The film's Los Angeles premiere was a charity benefit for City of Hope.
       DV reported in Jan 1958 that Paramount protested the "adults only" ruling of the Chicago censor, which ordered the designation because of the scenes showing the birth of a lamb, and of "Gioia" walking into "Bene's" bedroom. According to a Feb 1958 item in HR 's "Rambling Reporter" column, Wallis cut the bedroom scene so that the Chicago censor would withdraw the ruling, and on 20 Mar 1958, HR noted that the adults only restriction had been lifted.
       In his autobiography, Wallis stated that Bill Gray was the production manager. Wild Is the Wind marked the feature film debut of European stage actress Lili Valenty (1900--1987). The popular title song, sung by Johnny Mathis, was nominated for an Academy Award. According to Feb and Mar 1958 HR news items, Mathis was to sing the song during the Oscar ceremony, and it was to be the first time that all of the singers who "made the songs Oscar contenders [would] actually perform them on the show." According to AMPAS records, however, not all of the singers who performed the nominated songs for the films appeared during the ceremony. Magnani and Anthony Quinn received Academy Award nominations for their performances. Magnani also received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Motion Picture--Drama, and the film received a nomination for Best Hollywood-produced Picture--Drama. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
American Cinematographer
Jan 1958
pp. 24-25, 54-56.
Box Office
14 Dec 1957.
---
Cosmopolitan
Feb 1958.
---
Cue
14 Dec 1957.
---
Daily Variety
26 Mar 1957.
---
Daily Variety
30 Oct 1957
p. 1, 19.
Daily Variety
11 Dec 57
p. 3.
Daily Variety
20 Jan 1958.
---
Film Daily
11 Dec 57
p. 6.
Harrison's Reports
14 Dec 57
pp. 198-99.
Hollywood Citizen-News
12 Dec 1957.
---
Hollywood Reporter
24 Feb 1954.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 1956
p. 1, 2.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 1957
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Apr 1957
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
1 May 1957
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 May 1957
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
13 May 1957
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
20 May 1957
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jun 1957
p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Aug 1957.
---
Hollywood Reporter
11 Dec 57
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
21 Jan 1958
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
28 Jan 1958
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
29 Jan 1958
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
13 Feb 1958
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Feb 1958
p. 2.
Hollywood Reporter
3 Mar 1958
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Mar 1958
p. 14.
Life
16 Dec 57
p. 73.
Los Angeles Examiner
14 Jan 1957.
---
Los Angeles Examiner
12 Dec 1957.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Jun 1957.
---
Los Angeles Times
12 Dec 1957.
---
Motion Picture Daily
11 Dec 1957.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
14 Dec 57
p. 641.
New York Times
12 Dec 57
p. 35.
New Yorker
21 Dec 1957.
---
Saturday Review
28 Dec 1957.
---
The Exhibitor
25 Dec 57
pp. 4417-18.
Time
16 Dec 1957.
---
Variety
11 Dec 57
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d unit dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
WRITERS
Screen story and scr
Based on a story by
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
2d unit photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Ed supv
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Loc makeup
Loc makeup
Hair style supv
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
SOURCES
SONGS
"Wild Is the Wind," music by Dimitri Tiomkin, lyrics by Ned Washington, sung by Johnny Mathis, a Columbia Records Artist
"Scapricciatiello," music by Fernando Albano, lyrics by Pacifico Vento, sung by Anna Magnani.
PERFORMER
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
A Woman Obsessed
Furia
Obsession
The Obsessed
Release Date:
February 1958
Premiere Information:
New York and Los Angeles openings: 11 December 1957
Production Date:
1 May--21 June 1957
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures Corp., Hal B. Wallis and Jospeh H. Hazen
Copyright Date:
1 February 1958
Copyright Number:
LP9831
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Black and White
Widescreen/ratio
VistaVision Motion Picture High-Fidelity
Duration(in mins):
110 or 114
Length(in feet):
10,265
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
18652
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

When Gino, a wealthy but lonely sheep rancher in Nevada, decides to marry his deceased wife's sister Gioia, she emigrates from Italy and immediately moves into her new husband's home. Gino's brother Alberto, sister-in-law Teresa, twenty-one-year-old daughter Angie and Bene, a Basque sheepherder whom Gino treats as an adopted son, welcome Gioia into the home with kindness and understanding. Gino, who is used to exerting control over people, however, soon begins to criticize her for speaking Italian and for not being more like her sister. Several months after Gioia's arrival, she accompanies Gino and Bene on a tour of the rancher's property. From the jeep, Gino sees a herd of wild horses grazing on his land, and when he pulls out a rifle to kill one of them, Gioia approaches the animal and cautions it to run away. Deeply moved by the sight of the magnificent horses, Gioia asks Gino if she might have one, but when he later ropes a horse to the ground for her, she is horrified and begs him to set the beast free. Exasperated, Gino knocks her down, and Bene, bending over her to calm her down, looks into her eyes and then, embarrassed, backs away. Later Teresa and Gioia argue about who should run the household, and Gioia complains that she has nothing to do. Soon after, Gioia tries to break the wild horse herself. When the horse rears over her, Bene leaps over the fence, protectively backs Gioia into a corner, and impulsively kisses her. Shocked, Gioia slaps him and then wanders away in a daze. A week later, Gino has an elaborate birthday ... +


When Gino, a wealthy but lonely sheep rancher in Nevada, decides to marry his deceased wife's sister Gioia, she emigrates from Italy and immediately moves into her new husband's home. Gino's brother Alberto, sister-in-law Teresa, twenty-one-year-old daughter Angie and Bene, a Basque sheepherder whom Gino treats as an adopted son, welcome Gioia into the home with kindness and understanding. Gino, who is used to exerting control over people, however, soon begins to criticize her for speaking Italian and for not being more like her sister. Several months after Gioia's arrival, she accompanies Gino and Bene on a tour of the rancher's property. From the jeep, Gino sees a herd of wild horses grazing on his land, and when he pulls out a rifle to kill one of them, Gioia approaches the animal and cautions it to run away. Deeply moved by the sight of the magnificent horses, Gioia asks Gino if she might have one, but when he later ropes a horse to the ground for her, she is horrified and begs him to set the beast free. Exasperated, Gino knocks her down, and Bene, bending over her to calm her down, looks into her eyes and then, embarrassed, backs away. Later Teresa and Gioia argue about who should run the household, and Gioia complains that she has nothing to do. Soon after, Gioia tries to break the wild horse herself. When the horse rears over her, Bene leaps over the fence, protectively backs Gioia into a corner, and impulsively kisses her. Shocked, Gioia slaps him and then wanders away in a daze. A week later, Gino has an elaborate birthday party for Gioia, but after Gino, raising his glass to toast his wife, calls her by her dead sister's name, Gioia, highly offended, locks him out of their bedroom. Gino, unaware of his blunder, angrily departs for Boston to visit Angie at college. While Gino is away, the lambing season begins, and after Bene and Gioia help the hired hands to deliver the little animals, Bene follows Gioia into the barn and kisses her passionately. The lovers meet often during the following weeks, and on the night before Gino comes home, Gioia visits Bene in his room. The next morning, Teresa, who knows about the affair, confronts Gioia, who defiantly declares that Bene loves her and that the two of them plan to tell Gino and go away together. Gioia finds Bene tending the sheep and the couple embraces just as Gino walks over the hill. Gino strikes Bene and accuses him of betrayal, whereupon Bene, deeply ashamed, declares that he can no longer bear to look at Gioia. Bene leaves the ranch, and Gioia, realizing that her lover has abandoned her, prepares to return to Italy. Before driving her to the airport, Alberto tries to convince Gino that in trying to force Gioia to assume his dead wife's personality, he has never given Gioia a chance to be herself. Gino angrily orders his brother from the house, but later, finds Gioia at the airport and asks her forgiveness. After Gino declares his love for Gioia, she takes his hand, and the two return home. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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