All That Heaven Allows (1955)
Director: Douglas Sirk
Cast: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead.
After the recent death of her rich, nice, successful, well loved husband, Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) falls for her earthy, young, simple, not rich, but rich in humanity, gardener, Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson).
Cary and Ron spend more time with each other, fall more in love with each other, and decide that they should get married. But the gossip of the town begins, and with it begins interference and lies of those who do not agree with their relationship.
Almost everybody in their Society-Country Club-Petty-Poisonous town, even including her late teen children, is against the union. And in their selfish way make their protests know and, try to stop Cary and Ron’s wedding from transpiring.
Another wonderful Douglas Sirk Melodrama, about people, they way they live their life’s, and their love’s. Using the same primary actors as in Sirk’s “Magnificent Obsession, 1954” (Magnificent Obsession is probably the best Sirk film I have ever had the good fortune too see, and one of the most wonderful and life affirming films ever! All That Heaven Allows comes a very close second). The combination of talented actors works wonderful as it did in Magnificent Obsession. Cary and Ron are wonderful together, and when you see them together you know that is how it is meant to be, if only it wasn’t for the town busy bodies interfering with their snide comments, and rattlesnake tongues.
A great study of love crossing the class divide, and being subjected to selfishness, society gossip, and stubbornness on both sides, all along the way.
Cary falls in love with Ron’s’ simple, down to earth, no nonsense personality. But almost gets him to change all of that so he will be accepted by the society she grew up in, and lives in. Which of course would totally eliminate all of the traits in him, which she fell in love with in the first place!
Of all the people in Cary’s society, against their union, her two selfish children are the worst offenders. Adults themselves, and almost ready to fully embark on their own courses of life, they finally, through their selfishness, force Cary into choosing between themselves and Ron. Both of them using selfish, nonsensical reasons as to why their mother should not have this relationship, and completely forgetting about it, when a few months later they are ready to leave her behind, by herself, totally forgetting they had recently trashed he love life.
Full of beautiful painterly scenes, and good music, timed for emotional response to the second. You sympathize with Cary and Ron all they way through. Throwing your indignation at the towns interference at the screen, praying that they will come through, and come together again. And as this is Douglas Sirk, all is for reason, and there are lessons to be learnt in humanity, fairness and love.
If you like this you will love Magnificent Obsession! And if you love Magnificent Obsession you will like this!
Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio.