Jane Wyman is a repressed wealthy widow and Rock Hudson is the hunky Thoreau-following gardener who loves her in Douglas Sirk’s heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s small-town America. Sirk utilizes expressionist colors, reflective surfaces, and frames-within-frames to convey the loneliness and isolation of a matriarch trapped by the snobbery of her children and the gossip of her social-climbing country club chums. —The Criterion Collection
The film director Douglas Sirk, whose reputation blossomed in the generation after his 1959 retirement from Hollywood filmmaking, was born Hans Detlef Sierck on April 26, 1900, in Hamburg, Germany to a journalist. Both of his parents were Danish, and the future director would make movies in German, Danish and English. His reputation, which was breathed to life by the French nouvelle vague critiques who developed the “auteur” (author) theory of film criticism, casts him one of the cinema’s great ironists. In his American and European films, his characters perceive their lives quite differently than does the movie audience viewing “them” in a theater. Dealing with love, death and societal constraints, his films often depend on melodrama, particularly the high suds soap operas he lensed for producer Ross Hunter in the 1950s: Magnificent Obsession (1954), All That Heaven Allows (1955), and his last American film, Imitation of Life (1959). (Sirk’s favorite American film was the Western… read more
It's empty, much like a soap opera. It's a poignant romance with a touch of a gruesome social commentary, but it seems that everything is perfect as it is. The characters make me sick to the stomach. It might be cinema, no doubt about it, yet it's very soft. Too colourful. Life in a melodrama story is a black and white one - there's good/bad. Conformity/subversion. Love/jealousy. Rich/poor. So simple. Unfortunately.
Full of sensitivity and delicacy, Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson are perfect (and gorgeous). Love the story about buying Cary a television set "It's got a nice-sized screen and it's easy to operate. All you have to do is turn that dial and you have all the company you want..."
James Benning will be on hand this evening for the Los Angeles premiere of his RR (2007). "For the last 40 years Benning has been one of the
Above: Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer in John M. Stahl's When Tomorrow Comes. Anthology Film Archives is performing a public service by showing
"The angles are the director’s thoughts. The lighting is his philosophy."— Douglas Sirk We do not have to believe Sirk—we may desire to
The French do love their Douglas Sirk, it would seem. Here in America, acquiring a Region 1 Sirk library involves a bit of cherry-picking—get
Douglas Sirk, who came to America with his Jewish wife as a refuge during WWII, was one director in the 1950s that understood the frustrations of housewives, no matter how trivial they seemed to patriarchal… read review