Written on the Wind Overview:

Written on the Wind (1956) was a Drama - Romance Film directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Albert Zugsmith.

The film was based on the novel of the same name written by Robert Wilder published in 1946.


The most exaggerated (and absorbing) of Sirk's melodramas depicts the corrupt souls of a Texas oil dynasty. Hudson plays the calm, moral center of a familial storm as the nearly adopted favorite son of clan leader Keith. The domineering father trusts geologist Hudson more than his weak son Stack and his sex-obsessed daughter Malone (in a slinky, wildly erotic performance). When Hudson and Stack meet ad exec Bacall on a trip to New York, she falls for Stack's easy charm and is reluctantly dazzled by his wealth, though she recognizes Hudson's strength and character. The family settles into an uneasy peace until Malone's flagrant catting around brings a tragic final showdown. Sirk painted '50s American materialistic dreams in vibrant colors, but also deep shadow, finding the underlying emptiness within the gaudy display.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1956 --- Ceremony Number 29 (source: AMPAS)

Best Supporting ActorRobert StackNominated
Best Supporting ActressDorothy MaloneWon
Best Music - SongMusic by Victor Young; Lyrics by Sammy CahnNominated

BlogHub Articles:

Review: Written on the Wind (1956)

By 4 Star Film Fan on Aug 19, 2018 From 4 Star Films

Douglas Sirk’s films are always lovely to look at, almost to the point of making you sick. The panoramas?swell with color. They’re too perfect. The sets are gaudy — the cars the same — to?the point?of?almost?being?unsightly in their over the top artificiality. Try to find any... Read full article

DOUBLE BILL #4 All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Written on the Wind (1956)

By Carol Martinheira on Jul 14, 2017 From The Old Hollywood Garden

DOUBLE BILL #4 All That Heaven Allows (1955) and Written on the Wind (1956) On July 14, 2017 By CarolIn Uncategorized Boy, was Douglas Sirk great! I?ve always admired how unapologetically soppy and melodramatic his films were. He was probably the most underrated and mi... Read full article

Written on the Wind (1956)

By Beatrice on May 19, 2016 From Flickers in Time

Written on the Wind Directed by Douglas Sirk Written by George Zuckerman based on a novel by Robert Wilder 1956/USA Universal International Pictures Repeat viewing/Netflix rental #321 of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Marylee Hadley: I’m filthy – period! Dorothy Malone matche... Read full article


By Crystal Kalyana on Sep 20, 2015 From In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood

STAR OF THE MONTH: LAUREN BACALL. When Douglas Sirk is credited to a production you can guarantee that your in for a treat. Sirk who displayed prolific detail in capturing strong emotions abounded with people that were often plagued with mental illness or alcoholism problems highly excelled in the ... Read full article


By Theresa Brown on Sep 16, 2015 From CineMaven's Essays from the Couch

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREN BACALL When Lauren Bacall looks at you, or gives you her side-eye glance, brothers and sisters…you??are? done! Her eyes are scorching laser beams, slicing through you like butter. Her gravelly voice can be commanding, withering or mesmerizingly sultry. When she died last... Read full article

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Quotes from

Kyle Hadley: You're a filthy liar.
Marylee Hadley: I'm filthy - period!

Mitch Wayne: Are you looking for laughs? Or are you soul-searching?

Kyle Hadley: I'll kill him!
Marylee Hadley: A whiskey bottle's about all you'd kill.

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Facts about

One of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's favorite films; he referenced it frequently in his own work.
The movie was rumored to be based on the death of tobacco heir Zachary "Smith" Reynolds. The youngest son of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds, the 20-year-old playboy had a complete disinterest in the family business, an inexhaustible allowance and a volatile temper. Smith owned a plane and literally stalked Broadway musical comedy star Libby Holman until the 27-year-old singer married him in 1931. Their marriage was a clash of wills and, during an alcohol-fueled July 4th holiday party in 1932 at the family's estate, Libby announced she was pregnant. Stories differ, but there was reportedly a tense confrontation, a gunshot and the young Smith was dead. Libby and Ab Walker, a close friend of Smith's who was whispered to be her lover, were indicted for murder. Fearing scandal over their son's activities, the intensely secretive Reynolds family "persuaqded" authorities to drop the charges. The death was officially ruled a suicide.
Humphrey Bogart was unimpressed by the film and advised his wife Lauren Bacall not to make another like it.
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Best Supporting Actress Oscar 1956

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Also directed by Douglas Sirk

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