All That Heaven Allows (1955)
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 2
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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 2
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 4,951
One of director Douglas Sirk's best and most successful romantic soapers of the 1950s, All That Heaven Allows is predicated on a May-December romance. The difference here is that the woman, attractive widow Cary Scott (Jane Wyman), is considerably older than the man, handsome gardener-landscaper Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson). Sirk builds up sympathy for Cary by showing how empty her life has been since her husband's death, even suggesting that the marriage itself was no picnic. Throwing conventionial
Jun 19, 2001
Jacqueline de Wit
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Hudson is handsome and somewhat wooden. Laconic of speech, and imbued with an angel's patience and understanding, it's at times hard to understand his passion for the widow, what with pretty girls just spoilingfor his attention.
Beneath the stunningly lovely visuals -- all expressionist colours, reflections, and frames-within-frames, used to produce a precise symbolism -- lies a kernel of terrifying despair
A masterpiece (1955) by one of the most inventive and recondite directors ever to work in Hollywood, Douglas Sirk.
Sirk benefited immeasurably from the fact that the chief subject of his crazy cinema was postwar America.
Romance novel in narrative this transcends its genre with visual depth and perceptive socio-cultural insights.
'Time, if anything, will vindicate Douglas Sirk,' wrote Andrew Sarris in 1968. He was right.
When Carey (Jane Wyman) first visits the Andersons, friends of Ron (Rock Hudson), Thoreau's Walden is placed on the table. She then reads a passage in which he describes the "mass of men living lives of quiet desperation," a summation of her life.
Yet another mystifyingly lionized Sirkian soaper.
Quite involving, overblown emotion and all, particularly due to Wyman's gentle sincerity.
The rich visual texture, using glorious Technicolor, and a soaring emotional score lend what is essentially a thin story a kind of epic tension.
The enjoyability of All That Heaven Allows is hampered by the fact that there's no real plot here.
After seeing Sirk's disturbing film, it makes one wonder why any sensitive person would have wanted to live in an American small town in the 1950s.
Sirk's film is filled with such satirical barbs at the American rat race, and horrifyingly enough, most of his attacks feel unusually prescient.
An example of a seemingly innocuous, mainstream movie having serious social criticism -- even subversion -- at its heart.
While the stars deliver performances in Heaven that are graceful enough to carry the film, the rest of this love story just sort of, um, lies there.
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