Love -- United States -- Drama, Mother and child -- United States -- Drama, Remarriage -- Drama, Widows -- United States -- Drama

All That Heaven Allows

Vintage Technicolor 35mm Print


Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman, Agnes Moorehead, Conrad Nagel,

Douglas Sirk’s elegiac mood piece is also a furious battle of ideas that, à la Thoreau, locates the American sadness in a violent split from Nature. A switched-off television screen is the mirror for a vast yet terribly personal emptiness in this mid-fifties melodrama. Jane Wyman is a widow “too beautiful to be lonely,” but too smart not to be, in her small-town nouveau-riche milieu. Rock Hudson comes to prune her garden and uproots her life. Rock wants to be her redeemer: “Come see my silver-tipped spruce,” he urges, and she does. But from the start, family and friends try to seduce the lady back. Her grown children—at once idiotic and all-powerful, as Sirkian offspring are wont to be—present her with the final coup de Tube one snowy Christmas, then leave her to contemplate her new electronic friend. A roaring fire from the hearth is reflected on the TV screen; and always, that big picture window looks out on, as it separates her from, the garden.

Judy Bloch
  • Peg Fenwick
Based On
  • a story by Edna Lee, Harry Lee

  • Russell Metty
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 89 mins
  • Academy Film Archive
  • Universal
Additional Info
  • Print courtesy of the Lowell Peterson Collection at the Academy Film Archive

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Douglas Sirk, conversations avec un témoin du siècle: le cinéaste y parle du nazism, de Brecht-- (article), Libération, Edouard Waintrop, 1997

Douglas Sirk (program note), National Film Theatre (London, England), Jon Halliday, 1972

Patterns of power and potency, repression and violence: an introduction to the study of Douglas Sirk's films of the 1950s (article), Velvet Light Trap, Michael Stern

All that heaven allows (book excerpt)

All that heaven allows (program note), Warren Sonbert

All that heaven allows (program note)

Douglas Sirk and melodrama (article), British Film Institute, Laura Mulvey

All that heaven allows (advertisement)

Les nomes de l'auteur (article), Jean-Claude Biette

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