Wild Oranges

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Wild Oranges
Wild Oranges (film poster).jpg
Film poster
Directed by King Vidor
Produced by Goldwyn Pictures
Written by Joseph Hergesheimer
King Vidor
Starring Virginia Valli
Music by Vivek Maddala
Cinematography John W. Boyle
Distributed by Goldwyn Pictures
Release dates
  • January 20, 1924 (1924-01-20)
Running time
70 minutes
Country United States
Language Silent
with English intertitles

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


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 an 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 with 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 up 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". Silent Era. Retrieved 2009-09-25. 

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