Jonathan Demme's sexy 1986 road comedy, a story about the liberation of a stuffed-shirt businessman (Jeff Daniels) by a free-spirited punkette (Melanie Griffith), looks better and better as the years go by. By dressing Griffith in a bowl-cut black wig and giving her character the resonant nickname Lulu, Demme establishes a clear link with G.W. Pabst's 1928 Louise Brooks melodrama Pandora's Box
--except that in this case the influence of a sexual free spirit is not seen as malign or corrupting. The turning point comes when the girl's hard-edged manner is discarded along with the wig and the nickname: Lulu turns into Audrey, a touchingly vulnerable, fluffy blonde. Ray Liotta, making his first big splash as Audrey's ex-con ex-husband, a hot-wired collection of homicidal tics, personifies the menacing aspects of the "wild side" of life. The intensity of the final showdown between Daniels and Liotta startles some viewers, but it provides a needed catharsis. The film's glorious soundtrack album featuring David Byrne's peppy title track became a hit in its own right, and is still readily available. --David Chute
A straitlaced businessman meets a quirky, free-spirited woman at a downtown New York greasy spoon. Her offer of a ride back to his office results in a lunchtime motel rendezvous—just the beginning of a capricious interstate road trip that brings the two face-to-face with their hidden selves. Featuring a killer soundtrack and electric performances from Jeff Daniels (Terms of Endearment, The Squid and the Whale), Melanie Griffith (Body Double, Working Girl), and Ray Liotta (Field of Dreams, Goodfellas), Something Wild, directed by oddball American auteur Jonathan Demme (Stop Making Sense, The Silence of the Lambs), is both a kinky comic thriller and a radiantly off-kilter love story.
DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES
• New, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Tak Fujimoto and approved by director Jonathan Demme, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
• New video interviews with Demme and writer E. Max Frye
• Original theatrical trailer
• PLUS: A booklet featuring a new essay by film critic David Thompson