All That Heaven Allows


All That Heaven Allows

Critics Consensus

Big heart, big drama, and even bigger colors, All That Heaven Allows is tip top Douglas Sirk.



Total Count: 29


Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,304
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Movie Info

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 behavior to the winds and facing social ostracism, Cary pursues her romance with Ron, who is unjustly perceived as a fortune-hunter by Cary's friends and family--especially her priggish son Ned (William Reynolds). Amusingly, Conrad Nagel was to have had a much larger part as Harvey, an elderly widower who carries a torch for Cary, but his role was trimmed down during previews when audiences disapproved of an implicit romance between a sixtyish man and a fortysomething woman! All That Heaven Allows was remade by unabashed Douglas Sirk admirer Rainer Werner Fassbinder as Ali--Fear Eats the Soul (1974), in which the age gap between hero and heroine was even wider. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Jane Wyman
as Cary Scott
Rock Hudson
as Ron Kirby
Agnes Moorehead
as Sara Warren
Virginia Grey
as Alida Anderson
Gloria Talbott
as Kay Scott
Charles Drake
as Mick Anderson
Hayden Roarke
as Dr. Hennessy
Donald Curtis
as Howard Hoffer
Alex Gerry
as George Warren
Merry Anders
as Mary Ann
Hayden Rorke
as Dr. Hennessy
Forrest Lewis
as Mr. Weeks
Tol Avery
as Tom Allenby
Paul Keast
as Mark Plash
Joseph Mell
as Mr. Gow
Gia Scala
as Manuel's Daughter
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Critic Reviews for All That Heaven Allows

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for All That Heaven Allows

  • Jun 11, 2014
    The plot is sometimes silly, but still effective and Wyman's performance has just the right amount of quiet melancholy . . . but the best reason to see the film is for it's visuals. Even if you aren't paying attention to the dialogue, the imagery will command your attention. Sirk seems to be telling a parallel story through the brightly colored cinematography (which always seems to hint at the character's hidden passions) and various items the characters own or exchange with one another. None of this is exactly subtle, although most people seemed to miss it in the 50s, but that's not the point. These touches make what could have been a second rate melodrama into a beautiful film.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2013
    Despite the fact that the two characters seem to fall in love in such an abrupt way, this is still an involving silky melodrama whose appeal is not hard to understand, especially taking into account the impressive social criticism that made it so ahead of its time.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • May 23, 2012
    I don't quite know how to describe this. I watched it expecting nothing great and I still feel quite confused as to my feelings on it but I really enjoyed it. It was interesting and understandable (not always common in 'old' movies) and it touches on themes I can completely understand despite the age gap. I feel I may have liked it better at Christmas time, as the beautiful images of a snow covered cottage with a young deer outside was magical. I truly felt for Cary, as her whole world changed and ended up feeling satisfied at the end. A good romance.
    Sophie B Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2012
    Some people never realize how society, traditions and values imprisons and forces them to conform with banality. A candid and romantic look of a taboo relationship, done with such picturesque beauty that is hard not to be moved and enchanted by it.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer

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