The Wind is a complicated psychological puzzle of a film and thousands of words have been written examining its story and characters. Lillian Gish gives the performance of her career as a completely self-absorbed character who finds herself without the necessary tools to cope with harsh desert life. The supporting cast is also excellent with Montagu Love playing a perfectly hissable sleaze and Lars Hanson as the rough but kind-hearted fella who gets that kind heart broken.
One supporting player who gets relatively recognition is Dorothy Cumming as Cora. She thinks that Lillian is after her husband. She may be right, the movie is ambiguous. Not only is Cumming a good physical counterpoint to Gish, she gives a performance that is a study in smouldering.
This is the scene where the unspoken dislike finally comes bursting out. I certainly wouldn’t want Dorothy Cumming mad at me. And I love the phrase Miss Sly Boots. Isn’t it just perfection? (Trivia! Cumming played the evil queen in the 1916 version of Snow White, the one the inspired a certain Mr. Disney to try his hand at the fairy tale game.)
Availability: The Wind was released on VHS with a brilliant score by Carl Davis and the music is such a big part of the film’s impact that I know a lot of fans (myself included) cannot imagine a viewing without it. This version is NOT yet available on DVD, Blu-ray or via streaming in the U.S. as of this writing. There are PAL format DVDs available if you are a good movie buff and own a region-free player. But do seek out the Carl Davis scored version.
The Wind is among my favorite silent films so I am very excited about this article. It is an examination of three myths that have attached themselves to the 1928 Lillian Gish vehicle:
Lillian Gish is a Virginia belle who moves to Texas and slowly begins to lose her mind due to, you guessed it, the wind.
All right, you like silent movies. In fact, you love silent movies. The problem is that your movie nights are, to put it nicely, a rather solitary affair. Let’s face it, we’re in the minority.