All That Heaven Allows (The Criterion Collection)
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- Behind The Mirror: A Profile of Douglas Sirk (1979) BBC documentary featuring rare interview footage with the director
- "Imitation of Life: On the Films of Douglas Sirk": a seminal essay by Sirk admirer and filmmaker Rainer Fassbinder, illustrated with rare ephemera
- A stills archive with production phots and vintage lobby cards
- Exclusive liner notes by noted film theorist Laura Mulvey
Top Customer Reviews
But if you give Sirk's movies time and attention and allow yourself to be taken in by the strangeness, they are surprisingly easy to accept on their own terms.
Sirk's 1955 film, "All That Heaven Allows," tells the story of the romance between a well-to-do widow and a young, dreamy, non-conformist gardener. It's the oldest problem in the world: they could be happy and in love if only it weren't for the other people around them.
I think the key to the success of this film is the performance of Jane Wyman as the widow. Her character is so fragile, yet also surprisingly strong. She says no more than she has to, but what she does say speaks on many levels. She's kind, but she's also after something she clearly wants very badly. Wyman is able to communicate these contradictions and complications with a calm, almost effortless stoicism.
The Criterion DVD is a marvel of technology.Read more ›
Rock Hudson is fine as Jane Wyman's landscaper/love interest. He's an incredibly good-looking man and is the recipient of one the film's funniest lines when Wyman asks him "Would you prefer I was a man?" Of course, this line is only funny in hindsight now that we know what we do about Hudson's life. Agnes Morehead (pre-Endora) is also very good as Wyman's best friend.Read more ›
Rock Hudson's gentle gardener Ron falls for well-heeled New England widow Cary (Jane Wyman) but is faced with interference from her grown-up children, her friends and social circle, as well as the hide-bound morality and hypocrisy of the small town community. One of this film's incidental pleasures is the presentation of an older woman/younger man liaison in a 1955 film with dignity and a total lack of self-consciousness.
Sirk details the milieu with telling examples of how family togetherness can suffocate emotional growth; how bourgeois comfort and wealth can create spiritual emptiness; and how patronising and mean-spirited much of a community's apparent kindness and concern actually is. Against Ron's Thoreau-inspired "natural man", the artificial offerings of Stoningham's elite are shown as a spiritual wasteland, best summated in a telling image of Cary's tortured face reflected in the TV set she didn't want, but that her children thought she "had to have" for Christmas.
The film is full of beautifully worked out images and set pieces that perfectly capture the characters' inner lives and moral dilemmas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is my favorite Douglas Sirk movie and started my interest in Sirk.
Ultimately I watched almost all his other movies (except the early ones which he made before "La... Read more
People are so selfish, those kids should be ashamed of themselves! Well, I've never in all my life! Imbeciles! Just a catty & hateful mess! Read morePublished 10 months ago by ULTRA
Another one that I watch many times....worth watching at least 2 or 3 times.......Published 13 months ago by P. MCCLELLAN
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