Academy Awards 1956 -
Best Supporting Actress: Dorothy Malone
Entertainment Weekly - 01/11/2002
"...There's a genuine pathos and intelligence engineered by a director who rivaled Hitchcock in his mastery of the medium..."
Douglas Sirk whips up a devastating maelstrom of melodrama in WRITTEN ON THE WIND, the explosive tale of the Hadleys, a wealthy Texas oil family whose debauched members are on a crash course for self-destruction. From the windswept drunken car ride and pistol shot opening the film, Sirk leads an artful backward glance at the misjudgments, cruelty and bad faith that led the Hadleys and their unfortunate hangers-on to the point of no return. Robert Stack is Kyle Hadley, number one black sheep of the Hadley Clan, who attempts to cure his troubled life with a whirlwind marriage to the beautiful and unsuspecting Lucy Moore (Lauren Bacall). Marylee Hadley is the rebellious and drunken younger Hadley, perpetually in trouble and eager for diversions from her vacant existence. Rock Hudson as Kyle's virtuous best friend Mitch is the pillar of sanity around which the entire Hadley Clan clings for its survival. However, when meddlesome Marylee, wounded from a spurned infatuation with Mitch, insinuates that Lucy's expected child is actually his, the already fragile and explosive situation devolves into a tragic battle to the death. Virile and visceral performances from an all star cast played against symbolically saturated cinematography and art direction combine to forge an alcohol and tragedy soaked critique of '50s middle-class America.