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.
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
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]
Disc #1 -- All That Heaven Allows Play The Movie Chapters Commentary - Recorded By The Criterion Collection In 2014, This Audio Commentary Features Film Scholars John Mercer (Melodrama: Genre, Style, Sensibility) And Tamar Jeffers-McDonald. Commentary: Off Commentary: On Index Trailer Disc #2 -- All That Heaven Allows Rock Hudson's Home Movies Chapters Play Behind The Mirror: A Profile Of Douglas Sirk Play Contract Kid: William Reynolds On Douglas Sirk Play Cinéma Cinémas Play
All That Heaven Allows 5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
More than 1 year ago
The Blu fray is by a large gorgeous, the commentary makes for a fascinating second look at this uniquely subversive film. Wyman's skill as an actor is astonishing and nuanced. Beyond the melodrama and kitsch there is art: every frame so masterfully composed, the story defies convention in format, style, and approach. Yes it was a weeper but so much more! My only quibble with this transfer are the occasional color shifts in scenes. I'm not sure why this wash't corrected. Otherwise, "All That Heaven Allows" is a fine addition to my Criterion collection and one of the great American films of the fifties.