Driftwood Screen 5 articles



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  • Not just a Wise Child but a Bible-quoting child - but she's still played by Natalie Wood so it's all very winsome, at least till the film stops having her learn the wonders of bathtubs... and the meaning of "How do you do?", shocking townspeople with her honest truth-telling, and instead tries to cram assorted sub-plots, a hidden letter, a miracle serum, an outbreak of spotted fever and a courtroom trial for Natalie's dog (!) in its last half-hour, inevitably short-changing everything...

  • The cinematographer was John Alton, on this job just before the string of noirs he’s known for today. Here Alton shows what he could do with light through broken church windows and, later, the sunny streets of a sweet small town where Jenny washes up after great-grandfather dies mid-sermon.

  • I couldn’t watch it then, being on the road and with no access to a VHS player, so that would have to wait for two more months until I got back home. It was so worth the wait; especially the first hour is quite exceptional... The rest of the film is difficult to both describe and pinpoint, as there is so much going on simultaneously: a combination of small-town politics, domestic drama and comedy, with the additional theme of the differences between science and religion.

  • “Driftwood” both typifies and expands Dwan’s core inspiration: his dramatization of a thick tangle of social connections and conflicting lines of power and passion that seemingly bring the town itself to life along with its individual characters. . . . The vigor and immediacy of “Driftwood” can be traced in part to its quasi-documentary origins, which Dwan discusses in a book of interviews with him done by Peter Bogdanovich, which is one of the most plainspoken and insightful movie books I know.

  • Allan Dwan's Driftwood opens more calmly, as a preacher, in a rundown and abandoned town, preaches to his granddaughter (Natalie Wood) sitting alone in a dilapidated open-air church. It's a bizarre and unnerving scene for what will soon become a gentle movie that lovingly critiques society and civilization. As always, Dwan remains true to his characters and in Driftwood creates the rare film that is truly sincere.

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