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Jennifer Jones Animates ‘The Wild Heart’ at MoMA


Jennifer Jones and David Farrar in “The Wild Heart.”

The Archers and London Films

Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s British melodrama “Gone to Earth” — at the Museum of Modern Art on Wednesday, June 21, as part of “Modern Matinees: Becoming Jennifer Jones” — has a reputation often eclipsed by the drama surrounding its production. The executive producer, David O. Selznick, married Jones before filming and had the film re-edited for its American release, adding scenes directed by Rouben Mamoulian and retitling it “The Wild Heart” (1952).

In the American version, at MoMA, the film’s merits survive. Jones plays Hazel Woodus, a half-Gypsy living with her father in rural Shropshire, courted by a lusty landowner (David Farrar) and a gentle minister (Cyril Cusack). But Hazel is devoted to the windblown countryside, its creatures and her own pagan spirit. Powell and Pressburger signatures — including gorgeous locations and the suggestion of otherworldly forces — are in abundant evidence. (moma.org/film)

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