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Badmovies.org Forum  |  Movies  |  Good Movies  |  Wild Season (1969) « previous next »
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Author Topic: Wild Season (1969)  (Read 264 times)
Derf
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Lagomorphs: menace or underutilized resource?


« on: November 16, 2011, 10:02:12 PM »

Trevor sent me this movie a few months ago (thanks, Trevor!  Thumbup) and asked me what I thought of it. I finally managed to watch it (technical difficulties on my end), so I thought I'd share my thoughts with everyone. Since I'm putting this in the Good Movies section, you can guess my basic evaluation: it's good.

The story line begins with the death of Dirk Maritz's son Steve in a fishing accident. Dirk owns two commercial fishing boats, and his son had been the captain of one of them. That boat was caught in a storm, and, as far as anyone knows in the beginning, Steve died a hero's death. Dirk shares a house with Steve's widow. He is a proud man who enjoys his life as a fisherman. He also enjoys his rocking chair and a good cigar. When his other son, Michael, shows up unexpectedly, he is none too happy; Michael had left years before with his mother (who had divorced Dirk). Michael is also college-educated, which is almost too much for Dirk to deal with. Michael sees the daughter of Dirk's partner/first-mate-turned-skipper-of-Steve's-boat and immediately falls in love with her. That's understandable: She's quite beautiful. However, she is also dying. Michael decides to stick around and prove himself to his father (and win the heart of the beautiful daughter, Jess). Much drama ensues, during which time Dirk is humbled, Michael wins respect and love, and Jess dies.

The story is well told. It is definitely a product of its time, but it still works overall. The cinematography is nice. In one scene that jumps to mind, an establishing shot shows a colony of flamingos stirring up sand in shallow water; with the music that is playing, the birds appear to be dancing. It's not a complicated shot, but it helped to endear the movie to me. The characters are somewhat sanitized versions of rough and tumble men of the sea (no profanity or impolite scratching anywhere), but that is a product of the time the film was made. Jess, played by Janis Reinhardt, is, as I said earlier, quite beautiful. She doesn't act extremely well, but who cares as long as I can look at her face  Twirling.

There was one scene my jaded mind had too much fun with. Dirk has been abandoned by his crew, and he drives away everyone close to him. He keeps repeating that he doesn't need anyone. He then picks up his prized rocking chair and carries it out the door. I couldn't help but think of Steve Martin's The Jerk, expecting Dirk to say, "I don't need anything, except this chair. And this lamp" and walk out with his bathrobe hanging open. It wasn't the movie's fault; I just tend to have thoughts like that whether I want to or not.

All in all, this movie impressed me as being a well-done, polished motion picture. Again, thank you, Trevor, for sharing it with me.
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Trevor
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« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2011, 09:19:13 AM »

No problem, Derf: it truly is a South African classic, produced and co-written by a film mentor of mine and photographed by another.  Cheers  Some facts:

1. It was allegedly produced without an official shooting script.
2. The actor who plays Michael later became a documentary filmmaker [Death of A Princess among others] and also dipped into the anti-SA genre of films, the latter thing getting him declared a prohibited immigrant.  Cheers
3. Jans Rautenbach filled in for Emil Nofal many times when the trawlers were out at sea: Nofal got terribly seasick.
4. Ian Yule [Andy] enjoyed mixing it up with Thomas when they had their fight scene.
5. In the local version, there is a scene of Gert van den Bergh's mate sticking his finger in a hole in the former's terrible underpants which were hanging on a washing line, saying the immortal line "Hoe kan jy 'n gat in jou onderbroek brand?" [How on earth can your burn a hole in your undies?]  TeddyR

You got your DVD: now if I can only figure out why Newt and Andrew haven't received theirs as yet.  Question
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