Deeply ridiculous and flawed when seen through a modern template, with a strange dynamic between the three leads and drastic changes in tone...however there are 3-4 moments that are brilliant -few directors would dare stage the horse wrangling sequence today, and the finale is incredible (and influential...!)
A typically grandiose Selznick film with Vidor as his vessel. The film surpasses its caricatured characterisation if perceived poetically - love and hate, lust and power, desire and destructive co-dependency - the tortuous entanglement between lovers has universality. Lillian Gish is indomitable. Gregory Peck represents a foolish alpha. An intriguing archive in cinema.
A movie I saw 3 or 4 times on TV in the 70's. Rewatched yesterday night because of its recent Blu-Ray release. Wow! A movie about a woman, about Jennifer Jones, who's literally burning in the film's glowing settings hence her repeated longing for ponds and rainy nights. Masterpiece.
Not l'amour fou. Inadequate reading of sexual ownership and male dominance, with a few typical western motifs tossed in for good measure. A rape victim is branded as "damaged goods" and is punished for life. A powerful finale as the victim and rapist savagely destroy one another, but then all the man has to do is say "I love you" to remind her of her place. Control enshrined as sentimentality for the impressionable.
This film is so flagrant in its racism and disregard for women that it's hard not to find it funny. I couldn't take it seriously enough to be offended. Also, Gregory Peck makes a very sexy cowboy, even if his character was an arch-asshole.