ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Film Review: Wild in the Country

Updated on January 7, 2016
Film Frenzy profile image

Written by: Jason Wheeler, Film Frenzy Senior Writer & Editor.

Background

In 1961, Philip Dunne released Wild in the Country, based on the 1958 novel, The Lost Country, by J. R. Salamanca. Starring Elvis Presley, Hope Lange, Tuesday Weld, Millie Perkins, Rafer Johnson, John Ireland, Gary Lockwood, William Mims, Raymond Greenleaf, Christina Crawford, Pat Buttram, and Jason Robards, Sr., the film has an unknown box office gross. The film won no awards and was Presley’s last dramatic lead role until Charro!

Synopsis

After Glenn Tyler gets into a fight with his drunken brother, badly injuring him, a court releases him on probation into the care of his uncle in a small town while Irene Sperry is appointed his psychological counselor. He’s marked as a trouble maker and is continually suspected of various misdemeanors.

Review

Coming off the heels of Presley’s trying to become a more dramatic actor in Flaming Star, it appears that Wild in the Country succeeds in nearly every way where the former film failed. The acting is very well done and all the actors give great performances, which really help the believability of the plot and makes Glenn’s character more realistic. Take the courtroom scene at the end of the film, it has a lot of thick, heavy tension and the somber mood present in the scene is furthered by Presley’s body language as well as the realistically desperate pleas from Irene towards the judge and her attempts to apologize to Tyler that everything had transpired like it did and the father initially stating that his son didn’t have a heart condition before doing what’s right and going with the truth. It’s all very well done. Also like the previous film, this one is light on the songs, with only a few of them scattered here and there. But where one of the two songs in the other film felt out of place, they all feel like they fit here, especially the song Presley sings in the car, as many do like to sing while driving, or when he’s serenading Irene.

The plot is just as heavy as the film it follows. But while that one failed to live up to its potential, this one was able to hit everything it aspired to. It’s a very interesting and engaging plot as Tyler wants to leave his troubled past behind him and go off to college in order to become a writer. The problem is that nearly everybody in the town won’t let him let go of the past as they won’t do the same. What’s more is that he’s suspected of misdemeanors he never did and no one believes him because of his troublemaking past. There’s also one time he tries to leave town with Irene and during a stay in a motel, where the two of them don’t do anything but talk, he realizes that running away from his problems isn’t going to solve anything, so the two return to town, where true to form, the people don’t believe that the two didn’t do anything. It’s a good and relatable story as everyone has something they’d like to let go of in their past and possibly strive to become better people.

That’s also why Tyler is such a good character. He knows he got into trouble with his brother, which is why he’s in the position he’s in. However, he also has designs on becoming a better person, going to school and doing something with his life. But he’s still got a bit of a temper and the one time he made a threat came back to bite him when the person he threatened ended up dead, which put him on trial. Though it turned out that Tyler didn’t kill the person, who died because of a heart condition, throughout the film, it’s easy to see the struggle Tyler’s facing and the difficulty he’s having in being falsely accused of things he didn’t do.

It’s interesting that Presley’s career went right back to musicals following this film as it seemed like he was well on his way to becoming a serious actor. Granted, he was at the whims of Colonel Parker, who convinced him that people didn’t want to see him in serious roles. Though he would later take another serious role in 1969, it would have been interesting to see a serious Presley develop on film alongside his musical persona.

4 stars for Wild in the Country

the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent WNI's positions, strategies or opinion

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)