Wild Oranges

Wild Oranges is a 1924 American silent film directed by King Vidor.[1] On January 12, 2010 the film had its first home video release, on the Warner Archive DVD series.

Wild Oranges
Film poster
Directed byKing Vidor
Produced byGoldwyn Pictures
Written byKing Vidor
Based onWild Oranges
by Joseph Hergesheimer
StarringVirginia Valli
Music byVivek Maddala
CinematographyJohn W. Boyle
Distributed byGoldwyn Pictures
Release date
  • January 20, 1924 (1924-01-20)
Running time
70 minutes
CountryUnited States
with English intertitles


John Woolfolk and his wife are riding down a country lane in a horse-drawn wagon. They have an accident, and while John survives unharmed, his wife is killed. Disillusioned, he adopts a reclusive life on the sea, sailing along the Atlantic coast in his schooner Yankee, accompanied only by his ship's mate, Paul Halvard.

One afternoon, the men steer the Yankee across a bar into an inlet along the Georgia coast. The inlet is inhabited by Litchfield Stope (the master of the once-grand house that sits on the inlet, who developed a lifelong distrust of strangers during the American Civil War) his granddaughter Millie, and Nicholas, a "homicidal maniac" (according to a murder charge) who had bullied his way into Stope's household. Nicholas wants to marry Millie and threatens to place her in a swamp full of alligators if she refuses to kiss him.

After anchoring the Yankee, John takes a rowboat ashore. He briefly meets Millie and she gives him a few wild oranges before he goes back to his boat.

Nicholas proves hostile to John and Paul when they go on the island to get some fresh water, as he doesn't want them to fall in love with Millie.

The next day, when John and Paul are on the Yankee's deck, Millie comes to the shore and asks to be invited to come aboard. Once aboard, they begin a brief voyage. During the trip, Millie says she envies John's freedom, but he corrects her, invoking his dead wife. When they go back to the island, they are greeted by Nicholas who is carrying a concealed knife. Nicholas and John have short fight, ending with an unharmed John and an angry Nicholas.

That night Nicholas confronts Millie and asks her to marry him. When Millie says she is not interested, he threatens her.

Meanwhile, John, still fearful of becoming attached to someone, instructs Paul to get the ship under way immediately. Two days later, he has a change of heart and steers the Yankee back into the inlet. He meets Millie again and they say that they love each other. After explaining that she is afraid of Nicholas, John convinces her to go to the wharf with her grandfather at eight o'clock that night.

That evening, Nicholas sees Millie and Litchfield attempting to escape. He kills Litchfield and ties Millie in a bed upstairs with a gag over her mouth.

At nine o'clock, worried by the fact that nobody came to the wharf, John goes to the house to investigate. As he accidentally makes some noise, Nicholas finds him and they fight each other. Meanwhile, Millie had managed to free herself after a long struggle. She and John (who survived the fight unharmed) head to the wharf and make it safely aboard. Paul warns that it is low tide and that the boat would just barely clear the bar, but John convinces him to raise the sails anyway.

Nicholas, using a gun John dropped during the fight, begins shooting at the boat, wounding Paul. A vicious dog that Litchfield had kept chained up breaks free and kills Nicholas.

Millie manages to safely steer the boat past the bar. In the final scene, the next day, John and Millie kiss each other as a healing Paul watches.



  1. "Progressive Silent Film List: Wild Oranges". silentera.com. Retrieved September 25, 2009.
  • Wild Oranges on IMDb
  • Hergesheimer, Joseph, Wild Oranges, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, illustrated with stills from the film, on the Internet Archive
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.