All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…
All That Heaven Allows
How much does Heaven Allow a Woman in Love?
Friends and family want a rich widow to end her romance with a tree surgeon about 15 years her junior.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
A deer enters the scene during the final image, as if to suggest that this union of widow Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) and Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson), her former gardener turned tree farmer, has been enshrined by God and Nature. Melodrama is a genre uniquely capable of fashioning such transcendental pairings, couples that simply must be together, and Sirk cultivates images of his couple that take them out of the coarse, material world and raise them up, turning them into icons, situating them in tableaux that would be familiar to the great religious painters of the Renaissance. He will either join them together against a natural backdrop of some sort, the kind that evokes the pastoralia of the great Romantic…
i braced myself for disappointment at the start of this vaunted classic i've been dodging for years-- but i needn't have worried. it seems that growing up in soulless white suburbia, reading thoreau as a kid and knowing there was something- anything- beyond the nightmare of bourgeois conformity was just preparing me for this moment. i'm still stunned at how hard it hit me. my parents never understood but sirk did, and long before i was born
"Cary, let's face it: you were ready for a love affair, but not for love."
Lately I've been fascinated with melodrama, in particular the way its priorities differ from the expectations of what we might loosely refer to as a "good film". In general, we seem to want relatable characters in realistic situations which in turn evoke an emotional response; but in melodrama, everything is backwards. As Sidney Lumet once said, "In a well-written drama, the story comes out of the characters. The characters in a well-written melodrama come out of the story." Perhaps this is why the term has come to take on pejorative connotations in recent years: in melodrama, emotion comes first, even if it's at the expense…
God, the production design and cinematography, yes, and the withering portrait of repressive values, but sometimes I think that the artistic virtues of Sirk, of which there are many, are stressed as a means of justifying his chosen field of women's pictures, when even on a script level this is such a compelling movie, and so forcefully acted that its subtext, however key to the picture, is still the subtext under a direct swirl of emotions. It's all great, is what I'm saying. Why has it taken me so long to really dig into Sirk?
Douglas Sirk said that films need violence, a statement that some may find surprising, especially considering this one: an admittedly sappy melodrama about seemingly impossible love. But I think the most violent act in his films is a subtle (though effective) one that can be found within the so-called happy ending. He fulfills 50s Hollywood's need for perfectly wrapped up conclusion where everything is right and nothing is left unresolved- or at least this is what it's disguised as.
When the rest of the film is steeped in social problems and conflict, simply tying it up by having the protagonist follow their heart and topping it off by making it sickenly visually beautiful to the point of total falsity is…
Am reminded of a George Carlin joke - "the best thing about living on the beach is that you only have assholes coming at you from three sides."
Amazing film the country scenes are beautiful. Magnificent Obsession pairs these two in a similar love story, but this one is much better!
"all you have to do is turn that dial and you'll have all the company you want right there"
Wow. A lovely film whose vibrant colors match a great story.
Douglas Sirk has a great visual eye. This really smart melodrama acts as great soapy story, while also being a scathing look into the height of 'The American Norm' and class structure in the 50s. Pairs well with the equally amazing "Goodbye, Again" from the 60s.
Watched for a Hollywood film class.
Douglas Sirk is known for making Hollywood melodramas which were actually precise critiques of American society and this is probably his most famous film. On the surface, this is a love story about a middle aged woman (Jane Wyman) who falls in love with her younger gardener (Rock Hudson). However the conflict that permeates through the film is based entirely on societal standards and expectations. It's a very effective exploration of 1950s suburbia and the sexist structures restricting women at the time (and in many ways still).
Jane Wyman gives a very strong performance as a conflicted woman and Rock Hudson is well-cast too. The film is also shot beautifully and features an appropriately…
This is by far the most unintentionally hilarious film I've watched this year.
**Watched in my Melodrama Theory class**
Well, let's put this one in the "Matt Taylor Was Wrong Pile" because this is really fucking good.
I still think the ending is a bit too, ahem, melodramatic, but the rest is so great. Watching it with an academic lens made me appreciate it a lot more, especially the subtle way it deals with sensuality and feminism. And it's really damn pretty.
So, yeah, I was wrong. I don't know what I was thinking last time I saw it, but I'm happy I was forced to watch it again.
Enjoyed much more on the second viewing. The blue and red scenes work really well just as I remembered.
My first Sirk. Not, from what I've heard, as ambitious as his other work, but alright nonetheless. The colors alone are magnificent.
Such a richly layered work - can't wait to experience it again.
When her children gift her the TV I nearly died.
Format: Criterion Blu-Ray (gorgeous)
Location: Home, projected
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)