MovieChat Forums > Something Wild (1961) Discussion > Baker's recent take on Something Wild

Baker's recent take on Something Wild


I just saw a screening of Something Wild at the Palm Springs Film Noir Film Festival. Miss Baker attended, was interviewed afterwards and answered questions.

She said and her husband both wanted to make this film, and they did it the way they wanted. Arron Copland saw it (without music) and expressed interest in writing a film score to it. Baker is very proud of his involvement. In addition to this she basically paid his high fee herself: she said she had to "Do a few westerns" afterwards to pay his fee. <G>

She asked the audience if they could see why her character stayed with Meeker's at the end of the film. Very few people said they did. "Well, there you have it." she said.

She added that she was very happy that her colleagues (all from the Actor's Studio, as she was) in the film went on to become stars.

She also looked very good, by the way. <G>

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[deleted]

This film has haunted since I saw as a child. Baker & Meeker both should have been nominated for Oscars.

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I feel the same way...I vaguely recall having seen this movie when I was little, and it's haunted me since then, too. I would really like to see it again now, so many years later.

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I have to disagree with rdooley-2. I was also at the '07 PS Noir Festival and thought that Carroll Baker looked pretty bad. She looked as if she doesn't spend much time taking care of herself and doesn't really care how she looks.

She is "only" 76. By comparison, Rhonda Fleming, who also appeared at the Festival, is 84 and still looked gorgeous.

Just one man's opinion. I also thought this film was one of the 3 or 4 most depressing that I have ever seen and would never so much as consider watching it again. If I want to see Carroll Baker, I'll watch "Harlow." If I want to see Ralph Meeker, I'll watch "Kiss Me Deadly" or "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre." And, if I want to see Clifton James, I'll watch any film made in the 80's.

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Wonder how you'll look at 76.

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Remarks by oversplayer are remarks by someone who has little compassion for other humans and sees them only as objects, not fellow wounded souls with whom to identify. He thinks SW was one of the most depressing films he's ever seen, and along with his remarks on Ms. Baker's looks this leads me to that conclusion. I was riveted by this film and give it a 10/10.

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I can't believe anyone would rate this 10/10. What did you like about it?



Most Recently Viewed
Something Wild 3/10





This story is already over

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[deleted]

If you look at the "User Comments" page regarding this film you'll see several fans of this film explaining their reaction quite eloquently. Here are a few of their remarks that I connect with:

"Even as a young girl I was haunted by Carole Baker's character, not understanding exactly what had happened to her, but realizing that the love she developed with Ralph Meeker was somehow sad, but sweet and deeply emotional at the same time. I remember how desolate the character of Ralph Meeker was, and his apartment reflected this barren soul. They were two people who hurt desperately, and could only relieve their pain by coming together and sharing their emotionally tortured souls."

"It's not only a masterpiece but one of the most idiosyncratic American films ever made; better than any pre-East-of-Eden Kazan film and featuring an astounding performace from Carroll Baker, and a brilliantly bizzare and understated one from Ralph Meeker."

"This movie is somber, downbeat, and really really weird. Many women hate this movie because of the ending. And for good reason. I guess you can say this is the kind of movie that leaves one with a bad taste in the mouth. It is the kind of movie where you want to scream at the characters--"what the hell are you doing?" But this film is hypnotic in its strange way. The performances are terrific, and the locations are stunning."

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Mary Ann was raped and was pregnant from this. She is young, scared and depressed. She runs away and lives in run down hotel.

Mike saved her from suicide and tells her "She is his last chance".

I think they both needed each other and I personally think Ralph Meeker is a very good looking man.

I thought the music by Aaron Copland was beautiful and really fit in with this movie.

You can buy the DVD at:

http://www.ioffer.com/i/something-wild-1961-carroll-baker-ralph-meeker-dvd-209004644

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Only a ugly person would make such nasty remarks about a 76 year old person. They are so miserable it makes them feel good putting elderly people down.

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<If I want to see Carroll Baker, I'll watch "Harlow.">

That crap?

Carroll Baker is a good actress, but her other films are far better than 'Harlow'. That trash should never have been made, & Jean Harlow's memory deserved much better.

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I agree. They made two of Harlow movies at the same time. I saw both of them and the only thing I can remember that was different then the other is one had her affair with William Powell and one had Angela Landsbury's as mama in it. Both were dreck. I believe the Baker version was suppose to be better then the Lynley version though. Which s not saying much, They need to have a double feature of both of them on TMC Underground. I haven't seen any of them in years.

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Give it up on bashing "Harlow (1965)." It's a great film, I have several friends here in Hollywood who think it's great, for many different reasons. This is the film that introduced me to the beautiful Carroll Baker as well as introducing me to the legend of Jean Harlow. Without this film we wouldn't even be aware of either two. It's anything but "trash."

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I didn't like it either. I though the pacing was punishingly slow.

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@ oversplayer: How well, in your opinion, an actor ages, has nothing to do with anything. I, and most others, appreciate Ms. Baker and Mr. Meeker for the body of their work. We all age. Get over it.

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grumpyoldguy1: It's been 4-1/2 years. Do you think that overplayer is still paying attention to this post?

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I get replies to very old posts I made that turn up in my e-mail. Naturally, I have to check them out to see what they are about because I usually don't remember.



I had the chance to work with Michael Jackson who was as brilliant as they come.
Tommy Mottola

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[deleted]

I saw this movie for the first time not too long ago. It also "haunted" me. For love to come out of something so horrible. At the end, I thought it was so beautiful how the 2 characters got married and were to have a baby. And the way Mary Ann finally told her mother that "she was not coming home". This movie shows that good can come out of bad. 2 lonley and desperate people found each other.

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Mary Ann needed psychological help, not to be held captive by a madman. If anything, this film is claiming that love is inevitable when a person is kept next to another person for a long time. No good came out of that relationship unless you consider the breaking of a person's spirit to be good.


Most Recently Viewed
Something Wild 3/10



This story is already over

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You do have to remember that she kicked his eye out when he was drunk and that he kept her from killing herself. I'm sure she felt guilty about him losing his eye even though he was acting crazy at the time. Both of these things probably had something to do with her decision to stay with him.

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[deleted]

Great review. I saw Something Wild when it first came out and have never forgot
it. Wish It was out on DVD. Would love to buy. Don't know whom to contact.

Dee

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I was fortunate enough to watch it a few monthes back or so on TCM.
Perhaps that's an indication that it could be re-released...would love Criterion to put it out....it's really a great movie!

...short...sharp...shock!

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Wow it was on TCM - I hope it comes back on. This movie is a one-of-a-kind!

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Spoilers:
This is one of the weirdest films I've ever seen. While the acting was fine, I don't buy that two wounded souls found happiness together. She is raped and traumatized. He saves her from a suicide attempt. He appears to be a nice guy but later comes in very drunk and begins to attack her when she kicks out his eye in defense. He decides to keep her locked up in his apartment because she looks like she belongs there. Then he tells her he wants her to be his wife and needs her right away. When he finds out the truth about his eye, he finally lets her go. She is happy to be free but returns to him that night? IMO this is a case of PTSD for both of them. So we suppose they marry. Who will crack first is anyone's guess: When she has the baby? When he finally deals with the fact that she blinded him? A few possibilities: Postpartum depression, infanticide, murder/suicide.

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Then again, it just might work out. Stranger things have happened, and I think that's what the movie wants us to believe. Remember, this is 1961; a much less cynical time than that in which we live today.

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So getting raped in 1961 wasn't as bad as getting raped now? BS. That these two characters would experience a happy, normal life together is highly improbable.

That rape would haunt her forever. And she assaulted him and blinded him? Dear Lord, I'm glad I turned it off right before that happened.

The pace of this film was so incredibly slow that it made me very , very anxious. And now I'm glad I didn't see the rest of it.

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Criterion has just announced a January 17th release of this underrated classic!

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Ever hear of SPOILERS ???? Idiot !










You've done some bad things, sweetie.

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[deleted]

I really don't see how anyone could rave about this movie
it's only excuse is it was made in 1961 and is just a way to see how much the world has evolved since then

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I saw this film when it first came out in 1961 (I am 67 years old and a woman). I have been mesmerized by this film each time I have seen it since then.

The film was written by Jack Garfein and the style may have eventually influenced David Mamet, who writes in the same "staccato" style.

In any event, it's not all that complicated or hard to understand. She was in a desperate situation and had nowhere to go. The times were very different. There was shame in rape and shame in an unwanted pregnancy if you were not married. Abortion was illegal.

Mary Ann fell in love with "Mike." He cared for her and held her captive. She went back because she felt safe with him and had nowhere else to go.

it is easy to see at the end when they hug and kiss that they had fallen in love and while today we might call the relationship "sick" back then he gave her everything she needed.

You can see when she reaches out at the end to hold his hand that she is telling him she will never let him go.

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I liked this movie, but it worked better as a portrait of PTSD and NYC than as an inspirational romance. Once Ralph Meeker entered the scene, the script and the slow pacing really detracted from the film.

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There was shame in rape and shame in an unwanted pregnancy if you were not married.


I agree with your thoughts on the film, SN, but I don't think Mary Ann's baby is the product of her rape. The rape happened in the summer - they make quite a point of that. When she tells her mother that she's pregnant, it's definitely winter. Again, the film makes a point of showing the snowy streets so we'll know that months have passed. And yet, Mary Ann is early enough in her pregnancy for it not to show. I did get the hints about her being sick and then drinking all that milk, but the timing doesn't work out.

Although, if the baby is the result of her rape, then ending has even more poignancy - she is obviously happy about being pregnant, and Mike has accepted that he will be the father to another man's - a rapist's, in fact - child. It would be a nice touch, but I don't see how it works in the timeline of the story.

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Thanks for the reply. You might enjoy a few photos I have at my blog which shows the building in NYC, then and now. PM me if you would like the link.

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I love Carroll Baker; she's one of the most underrated actresses ever as far as I'm concerned. Her performance in this film is haunting, and she and Meeker were great onscreen together.

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"Well, there you have it." she said


Yes, and still little has changed since the film was made or you posted this topic! A tale of the real value of "non-physical" inner human compassion and understanding in an often dispassionate self centered material world. I only recently discovered Caroll Baker through my obsession with David Lynch's film "Mulholland Drive". She has become one of my favorites!

Many viewers seem to remain stuck in an "outer physical reality" and consider the characters as "not believable" instead of appreciating the more abstract allegorical aspects the film can portray.

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