A gorgeous, grade A-level weepie, “Magnificent Obsession” is director Douglas Sirk at his most earnest and classical.
“Obsession,” is an utterly non ironic love story about a millionaire who gives away his wealth after falling for a doctor’s widow. It still carries subtle shades of Sirk’s abhorrence of materialism seen in his other work, but is painted in altogether softer hues.
“Obsession” isn’t the subversive critique of “All That Heaven Allows” or “Imitation of Life,” and doesn’t carry the self-knowing hysteria of “Written on the Wind.” It’s saccharine melodrama to its core.
That might discount “Obsession” in historical importance compared with Sirk’s other films, but it’s no less beautiful for that one diminishment.
Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman will come for your heart and pry it wide open, making it impossible to walk away from “Obsession” with even an iota of cynicism in your soul.