Wild in the Country

Elvis and Hope Lange in Wild in the Country
Hope Lange played the ‘‘older woman”
Irene Sperry, who causes a scandal
when she falls for Elvis.

The part of Glenn Tyler in Wild in the Country represented Elvis Presley’s last serious role in a film by a significant director. The story opens as Glenn, a Southern boy from a rural, poverty-stricken background, has just been released from juvenile hall. Central to the character of Glenn is that the brooding young man is at a crossroads in his life, and he must choose the path most suitable for him.

His choices are represented by three women. The sensuous Noreen, played by Tuesday Weld, is Glenn’s country cousin who urges Glenn to stay with his own kind. She offers passion and good times, but such a carefree existence allows little thought for the future.

Hope Lange costars as Irene Sperry, the court-appointed psychiatrist assigned to Glenn’s case, who recognizes in him the raw talent of a budding writer. She encourages him to attend college but causes a scandal when she falls in love with her charge.

Finally, childhood sweetheart Betty Lee, played by Millie Perkins, selflessly places Glenn’s future above her own needs, urging him to leave town and attend college. She is prepared to lose him that he may have an education and a secure future. Glenn follows Betty Lee’s advice, asking her to wait for him.

Behind the Scenes of Wild in the Country

Tuesday Weld was one of the trio of female costars (Hope Lange and Millie Perkins were the other two) who provide strong supporting performances. Only 17 years old during the film’s production, Weld was the hottest starlet in Hollywood. As wild as she was beautiful, Weld had already had romances with two of her costars in the film -- Elvis and 45-year-old John Ireland. So much was written about Weld during the early 1960s that fact and fiction fuse into one long publicity parade. Many of the rumors were spread by Weld herself, who enjoyed thumbing her nose at Hollywood’s entertainment columnists. She abandoned the Hollywood scene shortly after Wild in the Country to study at the Actors Studio in New York.

Cast of Wild in the Country
Character
Actor
Glenn Tyler Elvis Presley
Irene SperryHope Lange
Noreen
Tuesday Weld
Betty Lee ParsonsMillie Perkins
Davis
Rafer Johnson
Phil Macy
John Ireland
Cliff Macy
Gary Lockwood
Rolfe Braxton
William Mims
Dr. Underwood
Raymond Greenleaf
Monica George
Christina Crawford
Flossie
Robin Raymond
Mrs. Parsons
Doreen Lang
Mr. Parsons
Charles Arnt
Sarah the Maid
Ruby Goodwin
Willie Dace
Will Cory
Professor Joe B. LarsonAlan Napier
Judge Parker
Jason Robards, Sr.
Sam Tyler
Harry Shannon
Hank Tyler
Red West
Mr. Longstreet
Pat Buttram

Songs Featured in Wild in the Country

  • Wild in the Country
  • I Slipped, I Stumbled, I Fell
  • In My Way
  • Husky Dusky Day

Credits for Wild in the Country

  • Twentieth Century-Fox
  • Produced by Jerry Weld
  • Directed by Philip Dunne
  • Screenplay by Clifford Odets
  • Based on a novel by J.R. Salamanca
  • Photographed in DeLuxe Color and CinemaScope by William C. Mellor
  • Music by Kenyon Hopkins
  • Released June 22, 1961

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