Now He Knew Her as Other Men Had!
In 1910, a wayward mother re-visits the family she deserted.
In 1910, a wayward mother re-visits the family she deserted.
Desejo de Mulher
Despite walking into a film by my favourite director starring my favourite actress, I tried to not let expectations get too high - it is, after all, a "minor" Sirk that couldn't possibly hold a candle to his acclaimed masterpieces, right?
The film is about a woman (Stanwyck, in a brilliant performance) returning to the family she left years ago to achieve career success and to avoid brewing scandal, and dealing with the effects of her departure, which each character deals with differently. It's amazing how a film made in the 1950s about characters in the 1900s rings so true today about characters, emotion and even fate, such is the timeless nature of Sirk's art. The characters react in such…
An affecting drama in Douglas Sirk's familiar style, with Barbara Stanwyck given one of her best later roles - and so giving one of her best later performances.
As in the pair's other film together, 1956's There's Always Tomorrow, she's a woman returning to a town she left years before, complicating the lives of the married man she once loved (Richard Carlson), his son and his two daughters. This time, though, the kids are hers and the man was once her husband.
It's not quite as effective, unusual or stylistically striking as that later film, which made vivid use of the wide screen then de rigueur, with compositions rich in symbolism (hello Rex, the Walkie Talkie Robot Man), but it…
With All I Desire, Sirk continues to mine the crippling attitudes of conformist society through a classic 'stopover' scenario, with a woman returning to the town of her hurtful past. Although, here it is critiqued in an earlier time period. Instead of the postwar 50s, the film critiques the bourgeoisie society of the 1910s. To Sirk, fundamentally not a lot has changed.
Once again, there is biting social commentary with some moments of genuine truth scattered throughout. The depiction of the smothering righteousness of the small town might seem a little histrionic, but ultimately the protagonists do favour survival through self-integrity rather than fleeing and/or succumbing to the fascism of town gossip. This film concerns the prodigal return and forgiveness…
A collaboration between Sirk and Stanwyck that unfortunately bears the strong imprint of its producer. Douglas Sirk remembered with regret that "Ross Hunter was iron" and among other changes, insisted on losing the original title of Stopover: "It was a much darker title. It would have deepened the picture and the character - and at the same time the irony."
There is such glowing potential in All I Desire with Sirk's habitual finesse of camera placement and a very strong performance from Barbara Stanwyck (Sirk: "an excellent actress, one of the best in town") but the compromises weaken the melo in the drama. Sirk wanted lustrous colour but Universal refused and insisted it be made in cheaper black and white.…
I've never freaked over post-40s Stanwyck or B&W Sirk so imagine my surprise at loving every second of this thing. There's pretty much no choice I don't love here, from Stanwyck's alternately vulnerable and razor sharp performance to Sirk's Ambersons-like free-flowing camera and noir compositions. I love that they cast mid-tier players in every role but Stanwyck's to make her seem even more out of place in this small little town, and I was tossed about by each new twist. The sets are big and delightful and Sirk's blocking and editing is top shelf. The music is great, the non-Stanwyck performances are all good, this thing just rules up and down the line. Superb.
Before Douglas Sirk made Imitation of Life, he cast an older Barbara Stanwyck in this small town melodrama that should be called Imitation of Success. And before Sirk was able to earn his lush, sweeping endings during his glorious late 50s run, Universal saddled him with a rushed and sappy ending that was forced upon him. Stanwyck is great tho.
It's hard not to get fascinated by Barbara even when the film is so cliche...Such an amazing actress!
The best episode of Riverdale so far!
"We're a big disappointment to each other, aren't we? You've got a mother with no principles; I've got a daughter with no guts." — Naomi Murdoch ( Barbara Stanwyck)
OK, it's "lesser" Sirk, filmed in B&W. But it's a densely packed 79 minutes of Sirk directing Stanwyck in an engaging period melodrama depicting stifling small town hypocrisy. The ending may have been a last minute change, but it didn't read to me as tacked on at all.
Regrets from the past return to haunt the present; polite society as a defense mechanism, but one that intrudes into the lives of others, infecting interpersonal relationships—the mutual tragedy of worrying too much what other people say
Particularly interesting as a companion piece with There's Always Tomorrow: both were directed by Douglas Sirk, star Barbara Stanwyck, and feature themes of suburban ennui and characters escaping from or returning to the routine of the domestic sphere. The primary difference between the two is the way their endings shift the respective films' perspectives on these themes: in There's Always Tomorrow, Fred MacMurray reunites with Barbara Stanwyck, an old friend and successful fashion designer, and is tempted to throw away the life he'd…
Sirk's direction is impeccable here: such mastery over tone and pace. It doesn't waste a second in its highly engaging 80 minute run time. The performances are all pitch perfect, especially Barbara Stanwyck who is clearly a stone cold legend. Functions nicely as an unofficial sequel to Stella Dallas, although I feel that film has a superior ending, really soaking in its melodramatic juices. The "happy ending" here kind of betrays Stanwyck's character and her proto-feminism. I appreciated the occasional bombastic moment, of which Written on the Wind has many.
Home to a marvelous lead performance from the late great Barbara Stanwyck, All I Desire is an affecting period melodrama that's filled with many of the trademarks that would come to define Douglas Sirk's filmography, from the lushly crafted visuals to the engaging characters to the biting commentary and subtext.
In cinema 29.10.2020 at Kino Reginassa, valkokankaalta.
Valkokankaalla tänään Douglas Sirkin melodraama ALL I DESIRE, jumalatar Barbara Stanwyckin sarjasta, Kino Reginassa 29.10.2020. Leffassa järkytti kun ohjaaja ennen näytelmän alkua toivotti hyvää onnea näyttelijöille. Oliko se tarkoituksellista. t.co/INZNEFUh9v
Cada uno de los 79 minutos está exprimido hasta la última gota de su jugo. El drama aquí no podría estar en un volumen más alto. No sólo todos los sentimientos posibles están puestos en juego –provocación, amor no correspondido, rencor, tristeza, admiración, desdén–, sino que las conexiones entre personajes son múltiples y significativas. Por ejemplo: la maestra de actuación de la hija del medio está enamorada del padre de esta joven, que es el director de la escuela; el pretendiente de la hija mayor es el hijo del superintendente escolar, que es el supervisor del padre de la chica; y el instructor de tiro y pesca (¿?) del hijo menor es el antiguo amante de la madre. Pueblo chico,…
Sort-of spoiler alert: I'm not going to talk about the plot at all, but I am going to mention the general opinion I've heard about the ending and how mine differs.
So, I pretty much thought this movie was dynamite all the way through, but I was bracing myself for the much-lamented, tacked-on, non-director-approved happy ending I'd heard mentioned. Unpopular opinion: I don't think the ending feels tacked-on or particularly happy, and notwithstanding Sirk's opinion I think it's a way more interesting way to end the film than what was apparently scripted. But mostly, I just appreciate that the main characters are all more interesting, complex and fully realized than I would expect from a supposedly "minor" Sirk melodrama, and Stanwyck is just absolutely golden in this. For me, it's a total winner.
It is the early 20th Century; Naomi Murdoch (Barbara Stanwyck) is a vaudeville performer who abandoned her husband and three children, left the small town where she was raised on the wrong side of the tracks, and has given those at home in Riverdale, Wisconsin the impression she has become a great, successful stage actress. Her youngest daughter, an aspiring actress who is appearing in her last high school play, invites her by letter to come home so Naomi can see her perform. When she arrives, her oldest daughter who has assumed the role of "mother" during her absence is clear she should have stayed away, the youngest daughter wants to go with her back to New York where she…
Pretty pat and on the nose compared to what would come, but ALL I DESIRE is nevertheless a very watchable 50s Sirk melodrama that hits all the right buttons, and is anchored by a terrific Stanwyck lead performance.
A pretty standard melodrama. It’s predictable but there are some fun sequences such as the dance party scene.
Stanwyck has some good speeches. Especially the scene where she talks about the tough life on the low level acting circuit. She has “bruises on her illusions”.
My kino lorber studio classic rankings: boxd.it/1QYwK
While the mise-en-scene lacks some of the ironic opulence of the color Sirk/Hunter films, this film foregrounds the complex nature of social performance in a way that prefigures his masterpiece Imitation of Life. Stanwyck plays an actress whose stage performances are only a dress rehearsal for the performance she must put on when she returns to visit the family she left years ago.
The film’s central irresolvable contradiction is that Stanwyck’s character cannot be a wife and a mother while still pursuing her acting dreams. However, the film uses two forms of displacement to reconfigure this opposition in a way that can be resolved: first, the opposition between family and work is reimagined as an opposition between her husband and…
I guess I’m just a sucker for the melodrama. A perfect role for Stanwyck, and I think the word is sumptuous? - for the b&w cinematography.
A minor Sirk - but Stanwyck never disappoints and the story is so tender.
As always, Barbara Stanwyck does her best and no one is better than Douglas Sirk for pointing out the hypocrisy of the small town and showing complicated family life where happiness is just the surface. But Richard Carlson's acting is wooden and the happy ending kind of go against the movie subject.
Kino Lorber Blu-ray
Sirk, Stanwyck, and domestic interiors remain a potent combination. Not quite as artful in its metaphors as the pair's other collaboration There's Always Tomorrow--nor does it feature supporting players with as much presence as Fred MacMurray or Joan Bennett--but it's still often a lovely film.
Sirk does a fantastic job of capturing the simultaneous contentment and claustrophobia of the American home, and Stanwyck lends the lead role a world-weary maturity she'd already nailed by 1930 in Ladies of Leisure. The best American actress to ever do it.
Theresa 367 films
"And I don't believe that melodramatic feelings are laughable - they should be taken absolutely seriously." — Rainer Werner Fassbinder
catsiopeia 1,280 films
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