If you thought Dallas with over the top thenDouglas Sirks 1956 melodrama really does have it all but like that other great studio director Nicholas Ray its what Sirks smuggles into the film that makes it interesting.
The film deals with the dysfunctional Hadleys oil barrons who wreak destruction and havoc and affect everyone around them.
Robert Stack plays Kyle Hadley a huge boozer who cant fulfill his wifes desires to have children and has a very homoerotic realtionship with his best friend Mitch played by Rock Hudson.
His Sister Marleee Hadley is a nymphomaniac who when spurned by Mitch goes into local sleazy dive bars and picks up undesirable men.
Their father Jasper is a sick man and has more respect for Mitch than the unrelaible and soused Kyle who's wife is played by Lauren Bacall
Sirk throws everything into the mix including Murder ,Blackmail Miscarriages and loads of phallic symbols with the use of Oil wells and pumps making the film a real soapy classic.
But Sirk is also challenging the homespun views of 50s Americana by having all the darkness at the heart of that dream and how the threat of total breakdown is never far away.
Its easy to see why directors ranging from Todd Haynes to Rainer Werner Fassbinder hold Sirks films in such high regard.
The performances stay the right side of camp and Stack plays the drunk Kyle for all he is worth.
Dorothy Malone plays the nympho role with huge relish and the whole film really is a precursor to the Dallas and Dynasty soaps of the 80S.
Top grade melodrama from a master of the art.