Wild Girl
Directed byRaoul Walsh
Written by
Based onSalomy Jane's Kiss
by Paul Armstrong Jr.
CinematographyNorbert Brodine
Edited byJack Murray
Music by
Distributed byFox Film Corporation
Release date
  • October 9, 1932 (1932-10-09) (United States)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States

Wild Girl is a 1932 American pre-Code historical drama western film directed by Raoul Walsh and starring Charles Farrell, Joan Bennett, Ralph Bellamy, and Eugene Pallette. The film was based on a play by Paul Armstrong Jr.,[1][2][3] which in turn was based on the 1889 short story, Salomy Jane's Kiss, and 1910 novel, Salomy Jane's Kiss, by Bret Harte. The story had been previously filmed as Salomy Jane (1914) and Salomy Jane (1923).[4]


Walsh's only Western between The Big Trail (1930) and Dark Command (1940) is an affectionate parody of the silent westerns Walsh himself made as a young director at Mutual that evolves into a lyrical romance filmed with tenderness and sincerity. Joan Bennett is "the eponymous irrepressible tomboy, who bewitches card sharps and escaped murderers in equal measure in the Redwood forests of the Sierra Nevada mountains".[5]


During the opening credits all the main characters are presented in a few sentences by the actors that portray them.


Pre-production began in July, 1932, with members of the Fox company visiting locations in Sequoia National Park.[6] Most of the cast was announced by early August.[7] Shooting began in Sequoia on August 7,[8] and lasted two weeks that same month.[9] The primary farm set, built at picnic ground, became a brief tourist attraction while it stood.[10] Upon the crew's return to Los Angeles on August 31, director Raoul Walsh told the press that he was very excited about Joan Bennett's performance: "Joan Bennett's came alive in this film... And I think I am a lucky guy to have directed her in it."[11] An additional Western set was built at the Fox Studios.[12]


"Beautifully photographed and robustly directed adventure set in the West, centering around a backwoods girl, delightfully played by Joan Bennett, and her dealings with several men: a good-hearted gambler, a hypocritical, lecherous politician, a two-faced rancher, and a young stranger..." — Peter Bogdanovich[13]

Restoration and legacy

The film was restored by the MoMa in 2015.[1]

It was part of the 2023 Walsh retrospective at the Cinémathèque française.[14]

See also


  1. ^ "Salomy Jane 1907-01". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  2. ^ "Salomy Jane 1907-09". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  3. ^ "'SALOMY JANE'S KISS' WITH ELEANOR ROBSON; Harte's Story Basis for Paul Armstrong's Play. SOME CAPITAL ACTING But the Last Two Acts of the Play Not Up to the Standard of the Others". The New York Times. January 20, 1907. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  4. ^ The AFI Catalog of Feature Films:Wild Girl
  5. ^ "Restorative Properties: More on MOMA's To Save and Project". Film Comment. October 30, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  6. ^ Advance Movie Party In Park. Vasalia Times-Delta Vol. IX, No. 128, page 2. 28 July 1932. Accessed 12 June 2021.
  7. ^ Sequoia Film Is Progressing. Tulare Daily Advance-Register Vol. LII, No. 27, page 6. 2 August 1932. Accessed 12 June 2021.
  8. ^ Movies Filmed In Giant Forest. Vasalia Times-Delta Vol. IX, No. 138, page 5. 9 August 1932. Accessed 12 June 2021.
  9. ^ 20th Century Fox Film (1932). "WILD GIRL, from left: Joan Bennett, Ralph Bellamy, director Raoul Walsh on set in Sequoia National Park". Alamy. Everett Collection. Retrieved January 8, 2023.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ Are Cleaning Up After Movies In Sequoia Park. Vasalia Times-Delta Vol. IX, No. 152, page 6. 25 August 1932. Accessed 12 June 2021.
  11. ^ Shaffer, Rosalind. Mormon Blood Earns Contract In Irish Rebel. New York Daily News Vol. 14, No. 57, page 31. 31 August 1932. Accessed 12 June 2021.
  12. ^ Frontier Days Being Relived. Arizona Republic Vol. 43 No. 88, section 4, page 27. 14 August 1932. Accessed 12 June 2021.
  13. ^ Long, Casey. "Action, Action, and Comedy: Raoul Walsh's WILD GIRL". Cinematheque. University of Wisconsin–Madison. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  14. ^ "A la Cinémathèque française, Raoul Walsh ou l'action comme seule morale". Le Monde.fr (in French). September 1, 2023. Retrieved October 14, 2023.