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Wild River

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Director: Elia Kazan, Elia Kazan, Elia Kazan, Elia Kazan
1960 / 110min / DCP

Kazan, hearkening back to his early connections to various New Deal-era federal projects through decades of hindsight, produced this gorgeous, deeply ambivalent dramatic consideration on the clashes between progress and tradition, and between the national and local. Representing the former, Montgomery Clift plays a stiff, sullen Tennessee Valley Authority official come south to oversee the evacuation of a flyspeck town before the island it’s on is flooded by a new hydroelectric dam, only to face stern opposition from matriarch Jo Van Fleet, and a sensual awakening courtesy of granddaughter Lee Remick. A paean to the seductive charm of the southern landscape, shot in strikingly sensual Cinemascope.

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