Sog.: dai romanzi Mud on the stars (1942) di William Bradford Huie e Dunbar’s Cove (1957) di Borden Deal; Scen.: Paul Osborn; F.: Ellsworth Fredericks; Mo.: William Reynolds; Scgf.: Joseph Kish, Walter M. Scott, Lyle R. Wheeler, Herman A. Blumenthal; Co.: Anna Hill Johnstone; Mu.: Kenyon Hopkins; Su.: Eugene Grossman, Richard Voriseck; Int.: Montgomery Clift (Chuck Glover), Lee Remick (Carol Garth Baldwin), Jon Van Fleet (Ella Garth), Albert Salmi (Hank Bailey), J.C. Filippen (Hamilton Garth), James Westerfield (Cal Garth), Barbara Loden (Betty Jackson), Franck Overton (Walter Clark), Malcom Atterbury (Sy Moore), Robert Earl Jones (Ben), Bruce Dern (Jack Roper), Judy Harris (Barbara-Ann), Jim Menard (Jim Junior); Prod.: Elia Kazan per 20th Century Fox; Pri. pro.: 26 giugno 1960. 35mm. D.: 110′. Col
Painful change, change that is necessary but hurts. My family lost a house, when I was a boy. And I guess when my father died we also moved out of a house. Wild River was also the rst picture where I said to myself: I’m going to be as lyric as I can – I’m going to stop the action. You see, I always distrusted stopping the ac- tion for lyric moments. I had much more con dence after that.
I also used long shots as in the scene with them way in the back of the room, sort of in the dark, on the oor. I did that a lot, and putting a person or an object in the foreground with deep focus. That was a way of keeping it natural, although it’s an unnatural technique. I’m looking at the branch behind you, and you are not in focus, despite William Wyler and Orson Welles and everybody else. It’s only fteen feet behind you, but you are a blur. (…)
I thought a lm can be both true – re- alistic – and completely poetic. And that became the ideal of my aesthetic – to the extent that I was conscious of my aesthet- ic. Suddenly you look at it and it’s as plain as a loaf of bread, and it’s completely po- etic at the same time. It has overtones, it has suggestions, it has poetry all around it, but then, it can also be just nothing, a loaf of bread. This is what I feel when I see paintings by Cézanne: he shows you an apple, it’s just an apple on a table, but it’s somehow poetic. I like that.
Elia Kazan, da Michel Ciment, Kazan on Kazan, Secker & Warburg-British Film Institute, London 1973