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