Saturday February 13, 2010 17:53

Movie #0013 – All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Posted by Michael


Directed by: Douglas Sirk
Starring: Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman, Agnes Moorehead
First Viewing

Synopsis: A widow falls in love with her gardener, and then must deal with her judgmental friends and family.

It’s going to get a bit old if I keep mentioning something along the lines of “I’ve been meaning to watch this film for a while,” but, well… I’ve been meaning to watch this film for a while. One of the reasons that I wanted to do this list is that it would force me to watch films that I know I should see, but that I’ve been too lazy to actually watch. So here we are, another classic to check off the old list.

I enjoyed this movie. This was my first Douglas Sirk film, and of course, Sirk is well known his stylized, vibrant colour palette — even knowing that, I was still unprepared for just how lush the visuals were. The film is almost absurdly colourful. It’s quite striking, and it’s easy enough to see why Sirk has been so influential over the years. Most notably, Sirk’s influence on Pedro Almodovar seems fairly apparent, both in his vibrant use of colour and the emphasis on larger-than-life melodrama.

Yes, this film is quite melodramatic — another Sirk hallmark. Melodrama can be painful to watch when done wrong, but Sirk obviously knew what he was doing. The characters and plot developments are far from subtle, but it all really works. I liked it; list, you’ve done it again! Actually, the list has been pretty good to me so far — out of the 13 films that I’ve watched, there have only been two overt duds. If the good to bad movie ratio can stay at about that level, I’ll be very happy indeed.

Buy the movie at Amazon

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