All That Heaven Allows

All That Heaven Allows

5.0 3
Director: Douglas Sirk

Cast: Douglas Sirk, Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead

     
 

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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 bySee more details below

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Douglas Sirk's stylized romantic melodrama is one of the most fascinating of his films and the most thoroughgoing in its critique of American middle-class values. Its simple story concerns a romance between a 40-ish widow, Jane Wyman, and her young gardener, Rock Hudson, which scandalizes her social circle in a small New England town. "Sirk has made the tenderest films I know, they are the films of someone who loves people and doesn't despise them as we do," wrote R.W. Fassbinder about the director who was his primary influence. Sirk, a German immigrant who preferred to work in the frequently disdained genre of the "woman's picture", was able to imbue shopworn soap operas of trapped and oppressed women with a unique blend of humanism, social comment, and subterranean visual irony. Here, he points up the petty intolerance of the friends and grown children of a lonely widow, who are disturbed by the notion that she should still need love and sexual fulfillment. In a scene featuring the television as fetish object, Sirk deftly underlines the emptiness that he found in the rituals of American society. The director's characteristic use of mirrors, doorways, and various architectural details to frame compositions implies both limits of the world of his characters and the artifice of his narrative.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2014
UPC:
0715515117319
Original Release:
1955
Rating:
NR
Source:
Criterion
Region Code:
1A
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
5,446

Special Features

Audio commentary featuring film scholars John Mercer and Tamar Jeffers-McDonald; Rock Hudson's Home Movies (1992), a groundbreaking essay film about the actor by Mark Rappaport; French television interview with director Douglas Sirk from 1982; Excerpts from Behind The Mirror: A Profile of Douglas Sirk, a 1979 BBC documentary featuring rare interview footage with the director; Contract Kid: William Reynolds on Douglas Sirk, a 2007 interview with the actor, who costarred in three Sirk films, including All that Heaven Allows; Trailer

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jane Wyman Cary Scott
Rock Hudson Ron Kirby
Agnes Moorehead Sara Warren
Conrad Nagel Harvey
Virginia Grey Alida Anderson
Gloria Talbott Kay Scott
William Reynolds Ned Scott
Jacqueline De Wit Mona Plash
Charles Drake Mick Anderson
Leigh Snowden Jo-Ann
Merry Anders Mary Ann
Donald Curtis Howard Hoffer
Alex Gerry George Warren
Hayden Rorke Dr. Hennessy
Nestor Paiva Manuel
Forrest Lewis Mr. Weeks
Tol Avery Tom Allenby
Lillian Culver Bit part
Jim Hayward John
David Janssen Freddie Norton
Paul Keast Mark Plash
Joseph Mell Mr. Gow
Vernon Rich Bill
Gia Scala Manuel's Daughter

Technical Credits
Douglas Sirk Director
Alexander Golitzen Art Director
Fred Baratta Editor
Leslie I. Carey Sound/Sound Designer
Peggy Fenwick Screenwriter
Russell A. Gausman Set Decoration/Design
Joseph E. Gershenson Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Frank Gross Editor
Julia Heron Set Decoration/Design
Ross Hunter Producer
Joseph E. Kenny Asst. Director
Joe Lapis Sound/Sound Designer
Russell Metty Cinematographer
Eric Orbom Art Director
Frank Skinner Score Composer
Bill Thomas Costumes/Costume Designer
Bud Westmore Makeup

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- All That Heaven Allows
1. Opening Credits [1:44]
2. Golden Rain Tree [4:28]
3. Egyptian Tomb [4:17]
4. Stoningham Country Club [3:03]
5. "Companionship And Affection" [2:57]
6. A Greenhouse For A Bedroom [3:27]
7. The Old Mill [3:17]
8. Competing Invitations [3:01]
9. Walden Clambake [9:10]
10. "The Wedgwood Teapot!" [7:12]
11. Butcher Shop [4:43]
12. "What Happened To Dad's Trophy?" [6:36]
13. Sara's Lovely House [3:45]
14. "A Good-Looking Set Of Muscles" [2:51]
15. "Freddie And I Had A Fight" [2:16]
16. The Choice [3:50]
17. Telephone And Telegram [2:31]
18. "A Silver-Tipped Spruce?" [2:05]
19. The Christmas Gift [4:13]
20. Friendly Advice [3:30]
21. Accidental Encounters [2:27]
22. Bedside Vigil [4:48]
23. "He'll Need Rest And Care" [2:25]
1. Color Bars [:20]
1. The Longest Afterlife [1:44]
2. Color And Character [4:28]
3. Frames And Mirrors [4:17]
4. The Potential Of Technicolor [3:03]
5. Jane Wyman's Acting [2:57]
6. Rock Hudson As Spectacle [3:27]
7. The Contemporary Take On Ron [3:17]
8. A Real Man Of Nature [3:01]
9. Retreating From Conventional Society [9:10]
10. Melodrama [7:12]
11. A New Model Of Masculinity [4:43]
12. Gloria Talbott Adn William Reynolds [6:36]
13. Class And Physicality [3:45]
14. Cary In A Cage [2:51]
15. Elaborate Production, High Emotional Stakes [2:16]
16. A Hushed Tone [3:50]
17. A Symbolic Costume [2:31]
18. Crushed Hopes [2:05]
19. Trapped In The Frame [4:13]
20. A Fifties Film [3:30]
21. Irony And Twists Of Fate [2:27]
22. Poking Fun At American Earnestness [4:48]
23. A Deliberately False Ending [2:25]
1. Color Bars [:20]
Disc #2 -- All That Heaven Allows
1. Chapter 1 [1:03:45]
0. Chapters
1. Chapter 1 [57:11]
0. Chapters
1. Chapter 1 [23:02]
0. Chapters
1. Chapter 1 [15:51]

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