King Wallis Vidor (February 8, 1894 – November 1, 1982) was an acclaimed American film director whose career spanned nearly seven decades.
He was born in Galveston, Texas, where he survived the great Galveston Hurricane of 1900. His grandfather, Charles Vidor, was a refugee of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 who settled in Galveston in the early 1850s.
A freelance newsreel cameraman and cinema projectionist, he made his debut as a director in 1913 with Hurricane in Galveston. In Hollywood from 1915, he worked on a variety of film-related jobs before directing a feature film, The Turn in the Road, in 1919. A successful mounting of Peg o’ My Heart in 1922 got him a long term contract with Goldwyn Studios, later to be absorbed into MGM. Three years later he made The Big Parade, among the most acclaimed war films of the silent era, and a tremendous commercial success. This success established him as one of MGM’s top studio directors for the next decade. In 1928, Vidor received… read more
If you just pay attention to Cooper and Neal, Vidor's direction, the cinematography, art direction and score and ignore any trace of Ayn Rand and her filth, this is a pretty good movie! Albeit one without a offensively hamfisted plot and terrible screenplay, which doesn't really make it a movie anymore - but I much prefer it that way.
A great-looking film, but even the excellent art direction and cinematography, and Patricia Neal at her most stunning can't overcome a truly awful screenplay by Ayn Rand. One-dimensional characters and laughably on-the-nose dialogue effectively turn the whole film into a screeching, preachy melodrama far more concerned with pushing Rand's ideologies than telling a compelling story about believable characters.
Critic and filmmaker Luc Moullet looks at the tremendous final sequences of two King Vidor films.