Friday, January 05, 2007

Revisit: All That Heaven Allows

Cary Scott (Jane Wyman), a wealthy widow, falls in love with the much younger nurseryman, Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson). This provides gossip for the country club set, and her children are ashamed that she plans to remarry below her station. Ron is an independent man who can ignore the petty conventions of society, but can Cary ignore them as well?

A Universal-International release 1955
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Writing Credits:
Peg Fenwick (screenplay)
Edna Lee (story)
Harry Lee (story)

Another classic Sirk melodrama from the fifties, also starring the incomparable Rock Hudson. The subject here is taboo love and the American bourgeoisie; Wyman's love for Hudson is scorned by the local socialites, providing most of the conflict for the film. Sirk turns this into a damning portrayal of fifities upper-middle class suburban society and liesure time. He offers Therou's Walden as a superior alternative way of living as compared to the gossipy rumormill that is country club life. Likewise, there is a strong anti-television discourse throughout the film. While perhaps not as sweepingly melodramatic as Written in the Wind, it remains a textbook example of the genre.

No comments: