Films, Books, Musings-With the Glamour of Old Hollywood and the Flair of the Retro

All That Heaven Allows- A Movie Review

In Movies on August 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

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All That Heaven Allows-Universal International Pictures-1955

It is the 1950’s and Cary Scott sees her reflection in the brand new television set and realises the sacrifice she has made for her children and because of societies narrow views, may have been too great.

Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) has been recently widowed, but has a priviliged material life, a place in society and conservative, educated children. As the official mourning period ends she is being persued by several stodgy men from her social circle, but something is missing. When she takes notice of her gardener-tree loving,earthy and rustic, and younger and handsome Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson) she finds in him a fascinating contrast to her way of life. Their fragile friendship turns to love, but Carys’ friends and family do not accept his lower social standing and age difference. She is faced with the decision of appeasing her children and her so-called friends or following her heart and risking the life she knows and her childrens’ hurt feelings.

This, like many movies directed by Douglas Sirk is a classic melodrama, soapy, beautifully filmed in a lovely New England setting, and with an expressive soundtrack. Wyman and Hudson, having played together in Sirks’ earlier film Magnificent Obsession display a captivating ‘opposites attract’ chemistry.

Yet, despite being a melodrama that feels like a indulgent, escapist,tear-jerker, the message is intriguing. What level of happiness should we or would we risk for the sake of our family. What feelings would we deny to avoid the gossip and condemnation of our social peers?
What is a materially wealthy life without love?

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  1. Love this! Have not seen this movie or heard of it, but now would love to see it. Where are you getting these movies? Are they readily accessible to the masses? I find mine on VHS tapes in half-price bookstores…

    We’ve recently watched Gaslight and I Remember Mama (you should see it, if you are a writer at heart:).

    I think you MAY could build a blogging niche by doing “vintage” movie reviews. There may be a book in that too for you down the line.

    At any rate, I would keep cycling these kind of reviews into your blog, and make sure women can also access them via pinterest.

    • Hi Rachel,
      This movie is definitely on dvd, maybe I will try to state that in the future. If you watch it come back and let me know what you thought of it.I have quite a good classic movie/tv show dvd collection. A couple of times a year the studios send out re-released movies and they sell at k-mart type stores for $5-$12. I also record them off cable tv. My mother has hundreds of old movies on videos that she is slowly replacing on dvd. She is also into garage sales and picks up a lot there. We actually joke about ‘gaslight’ when we suspect someone has done something to make us feel crazy, like walked off with our stuff or if someone twists our words or messes with our minds!
      I think I will keep up the reviews, though sometimes you just want to read or watch without thinking too much. It does make sense though because I have access to so many and enjoy it. I guess I will start to see a direction or maybe a few directions as I blog more. As always your feedback is encouraging and a bright spot in my day?

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