The only Sirk that works for me likely due to my bias for the infinite possibilities afforded by black and white over the binary symbolism of colour. There's also something to be said about it functioning much better as a social critique thanks to its bitter ending. Also, the children in this are such conniving pieces of shit that I love them in contrast to the dimwits in All That Heaven Allows.
3.5. Funny how the roles are reversed here: it's the wife who's the totally insensitive dullard who drives her spouse to contemplate an affair. He complains about how they never spend any time together anymore, that the marriage lacks the old spark. And the kids are totally horrible, as usual in Sirk, whose movies are so often about what a sad, desperate, spiritually corrosive place the U. S. is.
I'm not sure could appreciate There's Always Tomorrow to the extent I do without being a husband & dad. I was immediately sad for Cliff, a walking paycheck w/his obliviously dopey wife & vampiricly unappreciative asshole kids. When Stanwyck showed that sadness I felt never let up, becoming almost absolute by the bullshit ending. I'd have loved to have seen this in color but black & white was almost more appropriate.
The American man is as trapped by postwar society as the women, it seems. Cliff is objectified even by his own family as naught but a breadwinner, and when he is tempted back into life outside his deadening routine, his children react as much against the disruption as they do loyalty to their mother. Black and white emotional remove replaces lush, visceral color. Cliff does not even have the luxury of a breakdown.
Wow, I didn't enjoy most of this movie but the last minutes made up for it. Douglas Sirk's subversion is a lot more subtle and tragic than his other movies because at least the main character had a chance! Its the children in this that cause the fall. Always look out for the children.
Great casting idea : if we believe so much in this old love and even feel the nostalgia and the regrets it is because we do remember Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray loving each other in "Double Indemnity". Sirk kind of play on a second level with this emotional tie that goes beyond his own film. In the second half, the construction of frames within the shots are amazing. Hollywood golden era !
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray were reunited on screen again in this great film by Sirk, maybe his best. They were in Remember the Night, and famously in Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder’s movie. Russell Metty shot in black & white. Rex the walking talking Robot is Fred’s alter ego. It’s pretty grim. I saw this on Home Maker’s Movie on WTIC Hartford in 1964, then again, projected at UConn's Sirk Retro in 1974.