In grim, rust-belt Pennsylvania, Wanda is down and out. She works sporadically, has abandoned her husband and children, sleeps on her sister’s couch, drinks and smokes too much, and goes home with men just to have a roof over her head. One night she walks into a bar after closing and finds a nervous Mr. Dennis pacing. She takes up with him, and he proves to be a criminal. They go on the road, visit his father, and he plans a robbery. He’s rude and demanding; Wanda accepts his abuse docilely. What future does she have? —IMDb
Barbara Loden (July 8, 1932, Marion, North Carolina – September 5, 1980, New York City) was an American film and stage actress and film director.
At the time of her death at the age of 48 from breast cancer, she was married to the director Elia Kazan, by whom she had one child. She was perhaps best-known for her role in Kazan’s film, Splendor in the Grass (1961), in which she played Warren Beatty’s sister, as well as for portraying a fictionalized version of Marilyn Monroe in Kazan’s stage production of After the Fall, written by Monroe’s former husband, playwright Arthur Miller.
In 1970, Loden wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the independent film, Wanda. Innovative in its cinéma vérité style, it was one of the very few American films directed by a woman to be theatrically released at that time. Film critic David Thomson has written: “Wanda is full of unexpected moments and raw atmosphere, never settling for cliché in situation or character… read more
Worth all the movies of Elia Kazan times two and all the couples on a lam movies too. The difference between the last scenes here and in On the Waterfront is the difference between stoic despair and mediaready sentimentality... Im surprised this movie is not more widely celebrated though it has its die hard fans...
I loved it. Just watched it, but I know I will be re watching this film for the beautiful images.
I can't shake this film. Not that I'm trying to. There are emotions and images from it so indelible that they begin to create a ghostlike, pared-down imprint in my mind, emerging when I least expect it...not unlike when you stare at a light bulb and then close your eyes...somehow, the filament from the bulb remains.
Here’s where we’ll be gathering news and reviews from this year’s edition.