Vintage Technicolor 35mm Print
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.
- 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
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Douglas Sirk and melodrama (article), British Film Institute, Laura Mulvey
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Les nomes de l'auteur (article), Jean-Claude Biette
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
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