All that Heaven Allows: Film #2 of Film 365

Monday 14th March 2011

Director: Douglas Sirk
Year: 1955
Stars: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson

Well, I've lasted until day 2! It's a start...

Now, if you don't like melodramas you won't like this. It's, perhaps unsurprisingly, rather melodramatic. There's lots of emotive music, long lingering scenes and beautiful scenery. Thankfully for me, I knew what I was getting and quite enjoy the odd melodrama now and again.

The film tells of the romance between Cary Scott (Wyman) and Ron Kirby (Hudson), and how the community react to this unconventional pairing.

If you've ever watched the much newer "Far from Heaven" (directed by Todd Haynes in 2002 and starring Julianne Moore), and wondered what the hell was going on, watching this might provide you with some answers. Far from Heaven is quite clearly based on All that Heaven Allows, and does a very good job of bringing the social critique right up-to-date.

If you stick with All that Heaven Allows, you'll probably find it fairly rewarding. The film has a lot to say. In the words of the TV review, "(the film) deftly critiques the moral values (and hypocrisy) of 1950s America while simultaneously crafting a genuinely touching romance". It's rare that I read a review and fully agree with it, but in this case it says what I want to far better than I'm able to.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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About Me

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.