Douglas Sirk

Written on the Wind

Written on the Wind

The Technicolor expressionism of Douglas Sirk reached a fever pitch with this operatic tragedy, which finds the director pushing his florid visuals and his critiques of American culture to their subversive extremes. Alcoholism, nymphomania, impotence, and deadly jealousy—these are just some of the toxins coursing through a massively wealthy, degenerate Texan oil family. When a sensible secretary (Lauren Bacall) has the misfortune of marrying the clan’s neurotic scion (Robert Stack), it drives a wedge between him and his lifelong best friend (Rock Hudson) that unleashes a maelstrom of psychosexual angst and fury. Featuring an unforgettably debauched, Oscar-winning supporting performance by Dorothy Malone and some of Sirk’s most eye-popping mise-en-scène, Written on the Wind is as perverse a family portrait as has ever been splashed across the screen.

Film Info

  • United States
  • 1956
  • 99 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #96

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • On the Blu-ray: New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: Widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions
  • Acting for Douglas Sirk, a 2008 documentary featuring archival interviews with Sirk; actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone; and producer Albert Zugsmith (Blu-ray only)
  • New interview with film scholar Patricia White about the film and melodrama (Blu-ray only)
  • Trailer
  • Trailer for All That Heaven Allows (DVD only)
  • The Melodrama Archive: An annotated filmography of director Douglas Sirk with hundreds of behind-the-scenes and production photos, plus vintage lobby cards (DVD only)
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and critic Blair McClendon (Blu-ray only); an essay by film theorist Laura Mulvey (DVD only)

    Blu-ray cover illustration by Sam Hadley (pictured); DVD cover by Michael Boland

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • On the Blu-ray: New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • On the DVD: Widescreen digital transfer, enhanced for 16x9 televisions
  • Acting for Douglas Sirk, a 2008 documentary featuring archival interviews with Sirk; actors Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, and Dorothy Malone; and producer Albert Zugsmith (Blu-ray only)
  • New interview with film scholar Patricia White about the film and melodrama (Blu-ray only)
  • Trailer
  • Trailer for All That Heaven Allows (DVD only)
  • The Melodrama Archive: An annotated filmography of director Douglas Sirk with hundreds of behind-the-scenes and production photos, plus vintage lobby cards (DVD only)
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by filmmaker and critic Blair McClendon (Blu-ray only); an essay by film theorist Laura Mulvey (DVD only)

    Blu-ray cover illustration by Sam Hadley (pictured); DVD cover by Michael Boland
Written on the Wind
Cast
Rock Hudson
Mitch Wayne
Lauren Bacall
Lucy Moore Hadley
Robert Stack
Kyle Hadley
Dorothy Malone
Marylee Hadley
Robert Keith
Jasper Hadley
Grant Williams
Biff Miley
Robert J. Wilke
Dan Willis
Edward C. Platt
Doctor Paul Cochrane
Harry Shannon
Hoak Wayne
John Larch
Roy Carter
Joseph Granby
R. J. Courtney
Roy Glenn
Sam
Maidie Norman
Bertha
William Schallert
Reporter
Joanne Jordan
Brunette
Dani Crayne
Blonde
Dorothy Porter
Secretary
Credits
Director
Douglas Sirk
Screenplay by
George Zuckerman
Based on the novel by
Robert Wilder
Director of photography
Russell Metty
Art direction
Alexander Golitzen
Robert Clatworthy
Sound
Leslie I. Carey
Robert Pritchard
Film editor
Russell F. Schoengarth
Gowns
Bill Thomas
Hair stylist
Joan St. Oegger
Makeup
Bud Westmore
Music
Frank Skinner
Produced by
Albert Zugsmith

Current

Written on the Wind: No Good End
Written on the Wind: No Good End

Douglas Sirk’s 1956 masterpiece is a visceral tragedy that lays bare the spiritual malaise of the ruling class.

By Blair McClendon

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Karim Aïnouz’s Top 10

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Is The Red Shoes a Film Noir?

While considered to lie outside the highly policed boundaries of film noir, films like Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind and Powell and Pressburger’s The Red Shoes nevertheless share many of noir’s stylistic and thematic tropes.

By Imogen Sara Smith

Laura Mulvey’s Top 10
Laura Mulvey’s Top 10

Film theorist Laura Mulvey is one of cinema’s most influential thinkers.

Home for the Holidays with Douglas Sirk

Repertory Picks

Home for the Holidays with Douglas Sirk

As the perfect companion for your holiday blues, spend the final days of the year indulging in a good cry with Douglas Sirk at the Film Society of Lincoln Center.

Robert Greene’s Top 10
Robert Greene’s Top 10

These are “ten movies that taught me about movies,” writes filmmaker Robert Greene.

Advice from Douglas Sirk
Advice from Douglas Sirk
In honor of the great German émigré director’s birthday, here’s a short, quotable clip from the 1979 BBC documentary Behind the Mirror: A Profile of Douglas Sirk, more excerpts of which can be found on our release of All That Heaven Allows…