Wanda

With her first and only feature film—a hard-luck drama she wrote, directed, and starred in—Barbara Loden turned in a groundbreaking work of American independent cinema, bringing to life a kind of character seldom seen on-screen. Set amid a soot-choked Pennsylvania landscape, and shot in an intensely intimate vérité style, the film takes up with distant and soft-spoken Wanda (Loden), who has left her husband, lost custody of her children, and now finds herself alone, drifting between dingy bars and motels, where she falls prey to a series of callous men—including a bank robber who ropes her into his next criminal scheme. An until now difficult-to-see masterpiece that has nonetheless exerted an outsize influence on generations of artists and filmmakers, Wanda is a compassionate and wrenching portrait of a woman stranded on society’s margins.


Wanda was restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by Gucci and The Film Foundation.

Film Info

  • Barbara Loden
  • United States
  • 1970
  • 103 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.37:1
  • English
  • Spine #965

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • I Am Wanda, an hour-long documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980
  • Audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971
  • Segment from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring Loden
  • The Frontier Experience (1975), a short educational film about a pioneer woman’s struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin

New cover by Eric Skillman

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 2K digital restoration by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, The Film Foundation, and Gucci, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • I Am Wanda, an hour-long documentary by Katja Raganelli featuring an interview with director Barbara Loden filmed in 1980
  • Audio recording of Loden speaking to students at the American Film Institute in 1971
  • Segment from a 1971 episode of The Dick Cavett Show featuring Loden
  • The Frontier Experience (1975), a short educational film about a pioneer woman’s struggle to survive, directed by and starring Loden
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by film critic Amy Taubin

New cover by Eric Skillman

Wanda
Cast
Barbara Loden
Wanda
Michael Higgins
Mr. Dennis
Credits
Director
Barbara Loden
Written by
Barbara Loden
Photographed by
Nicholas T. Proferes
Edited by
Nicholas T. Proferes
Lighting and sound
Lars Hedman
Assistant
Christopher Cronyn
Sound editor
Harvey Greenstein
Sound mix
Dick Vorisek

From The Current

Wanda: A Miracle
Wanda: A Miracle

In her sole feature-length directorial achievement, Barbara Loden eliminates the boundary between actor and character, crafting a revelatory portrait of a woman without an identity.

By Amy Taubin

Defogging Wanda
Defogging Wanda

Veteran archivist Ross Lipman untangles the complexities of restoring Barbara Loden’s film, from questions surrounding the tonal quality of its images to the mysteries of its aspect ratio.

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