section Hommage Jack Garfein

Something Wild

  • Jack Garfein
  • US
  • 1961
  • 112 Min

In this neo-noir psychological thriller, director and Shoah survivor Jack Garfein breaks with convention. He brings to the screen the trauma experienced by a New York college student after a brutal rape. Garfein's second and last feature film is captivating with its shots of New York that are reminiscent of abstract art.

When the neo-noir psychological thriller SOMETHING WILD was released in US cinemas in 1961, reactions were divided. Since Jack Garfein, Shoah survivor, film and theatre director and acting instructor at the New York Actors Studio, explores in this film classic the complex psychological consequences of a trauma caused by rape, thus breaking with the conventions of American cinema of the time. Carroll Baker, Garfein's then-wife, brings great authenticity to the role of the raped New York college student who, after attempting suicide, is first taken by a mechanic to the latter’s apartment and later held captive there. SOMETHING WILD is based on the 1958 novel Mary Ann by Alex Karmel, who co-wrote the screenplay with Garfein. The film was far ahead of its time in terms of psychological realism and also stands out thanks to Eugene Schüfftan's abstract-art-like shots of the city of New York and Aaron Copland's powerful score.
Text: Stefanie Borowsky
English: Peter Rickerby

On 15.6. at 19:30 at Filmkunst66 Helene Pivette, former assistant to Jack Garfein, will be present for a film talk after the film.


original title Something Wild

international title Something Wild

german title Wilde Knospen

JFBB section Hommage Jack Garfein

  • director Jack Garfein

country/countries US

year 1961

duration 112 Min