"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."
1955 masterpiece “All That Heaven Allows” using this Thoreau
quote as its anthem to describe it's
strong male character. Sirk,
a German émigré with a background in theater made a series of
melodramatic Universal Studio technicolor films in the 1950s that were
only later recognized as the brilliant subtle social and philosophical
commentaries that they are.
All That Heaven Allows
by Douglas Sirk
Review of the film and Criterion DVD by Gary W. Tooze
Widow Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) is pursued by distinguished elderly gentlemen but finds herself attracted to her Adonis-like pruning gardener, the much younger Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson), who enchants her with his simplistic love of nature and indifference toward materialism. The abandoned mill in upstate New York where rugged Ron chooses to make his picturesque home, eventually the matrimonial home, is presented as an idyllic paradise with frolicking deer. Correspondingly Cary lives in a large house filled with the useless trappings of the times… even a television set is looming on the horizon for her to pass through her twilight years.
inner depth of Ron’s character is conveyed through a close friend,
describing him with heroic and earthy qualities that influence others. He
aptly has little patience for her stuffy, catty, socialite Country Club
friends and can never seem to bend from his principles. Cary has more
trouble applying these lofty values to herself when her admonishing, grown
children disapprove of her selection of a new husband. Being poorly
influenced she impulsively calls off her engagement to Ron. The zenith
point in the film is where Cary learns enough of herself to allow her own
emotions to champion over idle gossip and be the final judge of her
personal future. She finds the reasons behind her dismissal of the
marriage as fleeting as her children’s whims.
has learned from Ron: "To thine own self be
|Sirk uses obvious techniques of character and plot development yet extreme subtlety to imbue his story’s depth always sustaining the clean polished appearance of the film. Cary’s social circles are seemingly breaking every infraction of decency with snide viper-tongued backstabbing to boorish wolf-like advances. Ron’s friends on the other hand, are simple, warm and the smiling and laughing never stops when their party gathering transpires. Either as a glorified soap opera or a witty critique on social stigma, Sirk achieves a high degree of success on both levels. One of the few films, both my wife and I can enjoy together… for totally different reasons.|
have done it again: a perfect DVD in image, film and extras. This is
another strong contender for a must-have category for any DVD collector.
Absolute perfection. out of
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Cast and Crew for
Studio: Home Vision Cinema
Theatrical Release Date: January 1, 1955
DVD Release Date: June 19, 2001
Run Time: 89 minutes
Production Company: Home Vision Cinema
Package Type: Keep Case
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.77:1
DVD Encoding: Region 1
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Available subtitles: English