Written on the Wind

1956 film directed by Douglas Sirk

Written on the Wind is a 1956 film about the frenzied dynamics within a self-destructing, filthy-rich Texas oil family.

Rock Hudson as Mitch Wayne, Robert Stack as Kyle Hadley, and Lauren Bacall as Lucy Moore Hadley.
Rock Hudson as Mitch Wayne and Dorothy Malone as Marylee Hadley.
Directed by Douglas Sirk. Written by George Zuckerman, based on the novel by Robert Wilder.
The story of a family's ugly secret and the stark moment that thrust their private lives into public view! taglines

Kyle Hadley

  • [to Lucy] Something is happening to me. I find myself talking to you like I never talked to anyone before—not even Mitch...I think we're past the point of no return.
  • Lucy, you decent? Lucy, are you dec---? [reflectively musing to himself] I guess she was.

Mitch Wayne

  • I can't keep holding back how I feel about you, Lucy. How I've felt ever since the first day we met. I'm in love with you.

Marylee Hadley

  • I'm allergic to politeness.
  • [to Lucy] Oh, there's a man for you — or for me, rather. Kyle starts something. Mitch finishes it for him. Kyle falls on his face. Mitch picks him up. Kyle steals. Mitch takes the blame. And there you have the secret story of Kyle Hadley and his electric personality.
  • [testifying at Kyle's inquest] Mitch Wayne was there - in the study with my brother. Kyle had a gun in his hand. He was raving mad, raving about things that weren't so. Mitch tried to talk to him, to make him understand how wrong he was, to stop him from using the gun. Afraid he might even use it on himself. I made a grab for the gun. Kyle and I struggled. The gun went off....Whatever he [Mitch] may have said, means nothing. Except he was worried about Kyle, as a brother for a brother...[Kyle]...was depressed by Father's sudden death and he'd been drinking...My brother always drank too much. He was sad, the saddest of us all. He needed so much and had so little.


Lucy: [to Mitch] Just what do you do for the Hadley Oil Company?
Kyle: We're troubleshooters. Wherever they want trouble, they send for us.
Mitch: I, uh, have a sheepskin that says I'm a geologist.
Kyle: I was kicked out of the same school. They found rocks in my head.

Lucy: Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. It's an adventure. It's exciting.
Mitch: Are you looking for laughs? Or are you soul-searching?
Lucy: The latter, I guess. I think I'm beginning to know Kyle - and to like him.
Mitch: [looking hurt] Well, in that case, I'm glad.

Lucy: I took a sudden dislike to the suite...Oh, it was beautiful at first glance. Then I thought how ugly it would be - in the morning.
Kyle: Guilty as charged.
Lucy: I was tempted.
Kyle: Was it easy to overcome?
Lucy: Yes, you made it easy.
Kyle: How, by throwing my money at you?
Lucy: No. No, it wasn't that.
Kyle: What, then?
Lucy: It was the ride. 'Up in the blue' as you call it.
Kyle: Talked too much, didn't I?
Lucy: No. It was good talk. Only something happened to me, something as unexpected as the things you told me. I tried to tell myself it was, I don't know, sympathy, compassion. But it was more.
Kyle: Let's... let's get out of here. Cigarette? We'll put you on the next plane to New York.
Lucy: Thank you.
Kyle: I'm...sorrier than I've ever been in my whole sorry life. I hope you believe me.
Lucy: Is it important that I do?
Kyle: Very, because I... I want to start all over again... with you.
Lucy: How?
Kyle: Suppose-- Just suppose I came to New York again. Not to play, but to work, to behave like-- like Tom, Dick and Harry. I-I'd ask you for dates, take you to lunches, to the movies. I'd be... happy with a good night kiss. I'd think seriously about all the things I used to laugh at, like having a wife and a home... and kids. Right now there's one thing you don't have to suppose. I'm in love with you. So much so that... I want to marry you.

Jasper: It's about time you got hitched, isn't it?
Mitch: No, I-I have trouble enough finding oil.
Jasper: I sure wish you felt different about Marylee.
Mitch: We grew up together, like brother and sister. I just can't see it any other way.
Jasper: Yeah. It's a shame, though, in a way. It's a real shame.

Marylee: Then you grew up and left me, you and Kyle, the rover boys. I guess that's why I hate him so, for taking you away from me. I love you, Mitch. I'm desperate for you. So desperate, I run to the likes of Roy Carter.
Mitch: All right, blame me.
Marylee: I'm not talking about blame. About love. Do you love me, Mitch?
Mitch: Like a brother.
Marylee: I don't want you as a brother.
Mitch: Can't be any other way, Marylee. Don't, please don't waste your life waiting for me.
Marylee: I'll wait, and I'll have you - marriage or no marriage.

Kyle: A toast to — to beauty — and the truth, which is anything but beautiful... This is an occasion. We must proceed with, with quiet dignity.
Mitch: What are we celebrating?
Kyle: The end of a drought, a year-long drought.
Mitch: We drank a toast to truth.
Kyle: So?
Mitch: So you ought to let us in on what you're really celebrating — or mourning.
Kyle: So you'd like to know my secret. The secret is — not to pour the vermouth, just to pretend you're pouring it.

Biff: [about Marylee] That's how she operates... I never heard of anybody ever picking her up, that's all. It's always the other way around.
Jasper: How do you know?
Biff: Why don't you just walk up and down Main Street and ask somebody, huh?
Jasper: I'm asking you!
Biff: I didn't take her to the motel. She took me. Your daughter's a tramp, mister, if that ain't plain enough for ya.

Lucy: Do you love me?
Kyle: Love you? I don't even love myself.
Lucy: Kyle, what is it? Is it something I've said or something I've done or should have done?
Kyle: I can't tell you. I'm afraid. It's like I was deep in a mountain pass, snowcaps hanging over my head. If I make a sound, snow might all come tumbling down... bury me... alive.

Lucy: Bored?
Mitch: Disgusted. Mostly with myself.
Lucy: But I - I need you here.
Mitch: That's the only reason I stayed - to help you.
Lucy: Not Kyle?
Mitch: I made a resolution last week. It goes like this - To Hell With The Hadleys.
Lucy: I'm a Hadley.
Mitch: Not to me you're not.
Lucy: I respect my marriage.
Mitch: Haven't I?

Marylee: That was no lady. That was your wife.
Kyle: Where are they going?
Marylee: I don't know. Where would you take your best friend's wife?
Kyle: You're a real sweet kid.
Marylee: Now be nice to me, brother. One morning we'll wake up and we'll be all alone together.
Kyle: Go on, sister. Tell me another pretty story.
Marylee: Once upon a time, there was a poor little rich boy.
Kyle: Kyle Hadley by name.
Marylee: Who pickled his tiny brain with gin and bourbon.
Kyle: Not so. Scotch.
Marylee: Till he got so stinking blind he couldn't see what was going on right under his big red nose.
Kyle: But his charming, righteous little sister did.
Marylee: Yes, she saw the end of a marriage and the beginning of a love affair.
Kyle: You're a filthy liar.
Marylee: I'm filthy — period. But you don't have to take my word for anything. Just try keeping your head clear and your eyes open.
Kyle: Why should you care? You've never cared about me.
Marylee: Or your wife.
Kyle: Why are you putting your two cents in?
Marylee: Only because of Mitch. Because I've never had him, and your wife has. [Kyle slaps her]

Lucy: [after telling him she is pregnant] Kyle, it's true.
Kyle: You shouldn't have done that to me. You shouldn't have.
Lucy: What are you talking about?
Kyle: Mitch. You and the Mitch.
Lucy: Don't say that Kyle. Don't even think it.
Kyle: What did you think? You think I was just a drunken idiot? That I'd believe you? That I'd let you use my name? Take my money? You can rot in hell! You, Mitch, and your little...
Lucy: Kyle, I've had nothing to do with Mitch.
Kyle: [striking out with rage] You dirty tramp!

Kyle: [waving a pistol around] You lousy white trash. You no-account, two-faced dog. I'm gonna watch you cringe. Then I'm gonna put a bullet in your belly...my best friend. My lifelong pal. What a laugh! You crawlin' snake. You crept in here, sponged off us Hadleys, stole everything I ever wanted, everything I ever had...You made me small in my father's eyes. You made my sister spit at me. Then, you stole my wife.
Mitch: Kyle, we've never lied to each other. And I'm tellin' you now, I never touched Lucy, only because she's your wife. Get this straight. The child would have been yours. Not mine. Yours.
[they struggle and Kyle is shot]
Kyle: What are we doing here, Mitch?... Let's go down to the river, where we belong. I'll be down at the river, waiting, waiting.

Marylee: I could tell the police that I saw you kill my dear brother.
Mitch: You could.
Marylee: On the other hand, a wife wouldn't and couldn't testify against her own husband.
Mitch: You know, for a beautiful girl, you can look real ugly sometimes. Ask yourself this: Would I ever be enough for you?
Marylee: I could talk you right into the state penitentiary.
Mitch: You're sick, Marylee. Your sickness won't be cured by marrying me. Before it's too late, you'd better face up to yourself. Look how far we've come from the river.


  • The story of a family's ugly secret and the stark moment that thrust their private lives into public view!
  • This woman in his arms was now the wife of the man he called his best friend!


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