A far from mellow drama, this is a soapy Sirkian potboiler of the expected boardroom and bedroom travails. Does it have great meaning? Well, we’re oft told that Sirk’s lurid chestnuts have searing subtexts but quite frankly this is no more socially lacerating than the compatriot works of Negulesco, Donen, et al. just skin deep window shopping into the lives of the rich. The colour pallete has a gaudy charm however.
Sirk got the budget to do a rich people picture and he used it well. Cain and Abel, the miserable millionaire, the cunning sister-- these are timeless mythologies played out in stunning technicolor. Having learned he's sterile, Robert Stack stumbles out of the diner and sees a boy on a phallic mechanical horse, laughing. Sirk knows how to make the camera talk!
This windy story presents itself with a marvelous initial sequence and a very dramatic and chromatic sense of style. In the beginning, I felt this was going to be a favorite, however as the storm passes through and the end is near I just kept seeing much of its potential being blown off. I fear that, in the end, it left me hanging on in its own promise of being superior. Nevertheless, it's a treat to watch.
It's a great picture, but I kinda hated it. Not just because the characters are detestable (I even hated the "good guy") but because the whole time and culture were disgusting: the fancy clothes and cars, rich white people drinking booze constantly, and an oppressive 1950's culture; how in the hell people today can feel nostalgic about is beyond me. Oh, and the theme song is nauseating too. Otherwise a great picture.
Oh, Dorothy Malone, you. So glad the machine recognized her for this. I'm not going to pretend I'm cool: until that last unmistakably winky scene of Malone stroking an oil derrick, I never would've understood Sirk's irony had I not been prepared. Well, I was prepared, and I thoroughly giggled at the coyness. I wish they still filmed in Technicolor.
i've seen two sirk's films and have a feeling he was quite a master, something like hitchcock. i feel the anxious undertones and tensions in the ruling pathos, i understand you can analyse it from different angles and get a lot out of it, but i believe that melodrama is dangerous, it's decieving and seductive and evokes beasts in people. to be honest, the whole thing looked repulsive to me. except Lauren Bacall.
Has the most mysterious ending I've yet seen in Sirk, Malone mimicking her father's portrait, a pose with the model oil tower; the closing of a gate--we the viewers are no longer permitted to take witness to this world of psychological horror. What a hellish atmosphere it is, bedrooms especially, those id-riddled arenas.