Monday, June 16, 2008

The Wild and the Innocent (1959)

This is a pretty corny little movie, yet very watchable. In technicolor or maybe colorized, it's way too bright and yellow-ish.

The gist of the story is this: Yancy, a young man raised by his trapper uncle and the uncle's Native American wife gets his first chance to go to town when his uncle is mauled by a bear. The boy shoots the bear and we learn that he is a great shot. This of course factors in later.

It's one of those pleasant movies when you watch an unaware person encounter dangerous situations but never be overcome by them. Entirely unrealistic - there is a touch of reality in the ending - but it doesn't really interfere with the lovely unreality.

On his way to town, Yancy meets a thief who tries to trade his own daughter to Yancy. Yancy won't take her, but she runs away and convinces him not to send her back to her father. After that she follows him around like a lost puppy. Sandra Dee is an adorable puppy.

Of course when they get to town, they are immediately caught up in the town drama - the saloon keeper, the cooch dancer, the madam, the sheriff - oh wait, the sheriff and the saloon keeper are the same slimy guy.

Anyhow, poor little puppy gets caught up in the evil saloon life and at first Yancy could care less as he chases the cooch dancer. It takes a long time before Yancy learns to appreciate that innocence, once lost, can never be regained. Of course by then it is almost too late for him and the poor little puppy.

It's really a very pleasant corny little movie, although I think I would have enjoyed it more if Yancy wasn't quite such a rube. Puppy is almost smarter than him, except that she can't see past her own affection for him to think for herself.

Anyhow it all comes out all right in the end - it's 1959 after all! Three stars - although I really shouldn't give so many stars to something so corny, there is just something charming about the whole thing. Also, I really should take a star away for Sandra Dee's messy hair, which is very carelessly messed and looks too obviously like it is trying to be messy without cutting any hair.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I caught this film several weeks ago on AMC. It's one of those comfort films. I hope it is released on DVD on day.