Untamed (1929)
Crawford Makes the Film
31 July 2012
Untamed (1929)

** (out of 4)

After her father is murdered, Bingo (Joan Crawford) gets taken away from the South American jungles and heads to New York City. Even though she pretty much grew up as a wild child, her father's friend (Ernest Torrence) is given control of her and he objects when she falls in love with a poor boy (Robert Montgomery) so the two kids must prove that they're right for one another. This early talkie from MGM is about as predictable as it can get and it's highly doubtful that the viewer isn't going to know what's coming from around each corner so this film is pretty much just for Crawford fans who must see everything the actress did in her career. The entire film has a pretty strange vibe to it because when we first meet the Bingo character she's doing some crazy tribal dance and you really think that she's some wild child that you'd expect to see in a Lon Chaney film. After no time she settles down to be quite normal and this here is never really explained but Crawford's performance was pretty interesting. She was somewhat over-the-top in a good way while playing the wild child but she settled down during the section portion of the film and in the end she's the only reason to watch this thing. It's rather amazing to see how well she transformed into a sound star and you have to think that she was among the best to do so. Montgomery isn't too bad in his part but the screenplay does him no favors. Torrence is a tad bit all over the place but I still enjoyed watching him. At just 85-minutes the film is a little creaky in spots and there's no doubt that the pacing is a bit off. Still, Crawford fans might want to check it out but others should stay clear.
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