USA 1992, 126 min.

director.gif (905 bytes) Carroll Ballard


Jennifer Grey - Kate Bass
Matthew Modine - Will Parker

Stellan Skarsgård - Joe Heiser

Rebecca Miller - Abigail Weld
Cliff Robertson - Morgan Weld



September 11, 1992



Will Parker is a sailor whose life-long dream to compete in the Cup finals dissolves into dishonor when he commits a major blunder, and causes the U.S. team, led by millionaire skipper Morgan Weld, to lose the prize to the Australians. Determined to redeem himself and to put the Cup back into the hands of the Americans, Parker catches up with his former sailing partner/girlfriend deep in the heart of the Utah salt flats, where he manages to convince her and her engineering partner/lover to assist him in the design and construction of the ultimate racing yacht. All they need is lots of cash, so in steps the wealthy, beautiful but spoiled daughter of Parker's former skipper to assist in the investment department. Parker and his dream machine, The Geronimo, are now ready to reclaim the Cup from crafty Australian skipper Jack Neville.


Filmed in 1991 over six months with locations around Newport, R.I., on the salt flats of Utah and in the waters off Hawaii and western Australia. The shoot was plagued with problems from injured stunt men to disagreeable weather patterns to countless rewrites of the script.


"It was fun. He’s a lovely person and I like him a lot. I don’t know if he’s afraid of actors and doesn’t know how to handle them, but he takes one step back when it comes to the actors. He’s very much into the images. He’s a very cinematic director."



"Will, Kate, Joe and Abigail are a most engaging crew of eccentrics. Mr. Modine, Ms. Grey, Mr. Skarsgård and Ms. Miller are a collective delight, never quite behaving in ways prescribed by conventional fiction."   ...NY Times

"Award-winning director of photography John Toll works wonders with his camera, capturing the climactic races with an apparently effortless ease, hovering inches away from the action, then swooping away in stunning panoramic shots. Ballard, a former cinematographer himself, has specialized in films about man and nature, and in its better moments, Wind is about a man's love affair with the sea—much more relatable than a rich man's quest for racing glory."   ...Digitally Obsessed

"Modine is enjoyable in the lead and Grey delivers an ingratiating, spunky performance. But the second leads, Skarsgård and Miller, often steal the show, providing much-needed humor to lighten things up."  ...Deseret News

"Cinematographer John Toll ably invokes the unfurled excitement, and the sea-shimmering beauty, of being on the water. He also captures the awesome aridity of Deadman's Flat, Nevada, where Modine, Grey and boat designer Stellan Skarsgard perfect their winning hull. This is one movie where, if you plan to see it, you'd better not wait for the video."    ....Washington Post

"I also like the character of Heiser (Stellan Skarsgård), the obsessed European airplane designer who lives as a recluse in the desert and talks the others into accepting his yacht design...  The real reason to see this movie, though, is because it makes a big yacht race seem so glorious, such grand adventure. Ballard is a former cinematographer with a knack for visualizing the outdoors."   ...Roger Ebert

"Of all the sporting contests I’ve seen at the movies — bike races, boxing matches — I’m not sure there has ever been one more spectacular than the America’s Cup sailing final that comes early on in Carroll Ballard’s 'Wind'. Ballard doesn’t transform sailing into an etherealized daydream. He captures the physical and intellectual excitement of the sport — the aggressive athleticism and split-second decision making that turn competitive sailing into refined warfare."  ...Entertainment Weekly

"Ballard has infused 'Wind' with an old-fashioned romantic sentimentality that is affecting from time to time."  ...Kenneth Turan, LA Times

"The fine cast argues and struggles, not so much with themselves as with their lines. They're at a loss with their material... The final race, with the Aussies and the Americans racing bow to bow, is the most exhilarating scene of the year."  ...Fresno Bee

"'Wind' is the most bracing and breathtaking film ever made about world class sailboat racing. While most directors would have considered this triumph satisfaction enough, Carroll Ballard wanted more. He has also presented a complex story about how important equality is to both love and work."   ...Spirituality and Practice

"The work of iconoclastic screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer has apparently been watered down in the shuffle, although the raw-edged Nevada sequence and the unusual reading of the Joe Heiser (Skarsgård) character reflect the kind of film Wind might have been if Wurlitizer's contributions had been left untouched."    ...TV Guide

"Ballard's by-the-books genre film is aided greatly by the performances of its four leads (most notably, Modine and Skarsgård). It also doesn`t hurt to have the picture shot by John Toll (Braveheart, The Thin Red Line), one of cinema's most celebrated cinematographers."

"Cinematographer John Toll takes his cameras where no sailing movie had ever gone before, and the results are nothing less than spectacular."

"The characters have no more depth than is required by the formulaic script, which means you'll enjoy spending time with the characters only as much as you like Matthew Modine, Jennifer Grey, and Stellan Skarsgård, who are all more than adequate for the job, by the way. The general bickering that goes on in Nevada is amusing enough."    ...DVD Journal

"Carried out by Matthew Modine in full form, at his side good actors such as Stellan Skarsgård, Cliff Robertson and Jennifer Grey, Wind is appreciated for the quality of it scenes on the open sea."   ...Golden Score