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All That Heaven Allows (1955)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7,535 users  
Reviews: 87 user | 80 critic

An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: All That Heaven Allows (1955)

All That Heaven Allows (1955) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Sara Warren
...
Harvey
Virginia Grey ...
Alida Anderson
Gloria Talbott ...
William Reynolds ...
Ned Scott
Charles Drake ...
Mick Anderson
...
Dr. Dan Hennessy
Jacqueline deWit ...
Mona Plash (as Jacqueline de Wit)
Leigh Snowden ...
Jo-Ann Grisby
...
Alex Gerry ...
George Warren
Nestor Paiva ...
Manuel
Forrest Lewis ...
Mr. Weeks
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Storyline

Cary Scott is a widow with two grown children. She's been leading a quiet life since her husband died, socializing with a small circle of friends. Her children no longer live with her full-time but come home every weekend. She's not unhappy but also doesn't realize how bored she is. Her friend Sara Warren encourages he to get a television set to keep her company but she doesn't want that either. She develops a friendship with Ron Kirby who owns his own nursery and comes every spring and fall to trim her trees. Ron is much younger than she and their friendship soon turns to love. Her circle of friends are surprised that she is seeing such a younger man and she might be prepared to overlook that - Ron certainly doesn't care about the differences in their ages - but when her son and daughter vehemently object, she decides to sacrifice her own feelings for their happiness. Over time however, she realizes that her children will be spending less and less time with her as they pursue their ... Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How much does Heaven Allow a Woman in Love?

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 December 1955 (Denmark)  »

Also Known As:

Tout ce que le ciel permet  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Eastmancolor and Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A major part of the movie revolves around the fact that Jane Wyman's character is supposed to be substantially older than Rock Hudson. In reality, Jane Wyman was only 38 and Rock Hudson was only 30 when they filmed this movie. See more »

Goofs

When Alida tells Cary to get her coat, Cary gets her coat, but doesn't stop to get boots. But when she gets out of the car at Ron's mill house, she's wearing boots. See more »

Quotes

Ron Kirby: I can't shoot straight anymore.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Cape Fear (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

Joy to the World
(uncredited)
Lyrics by Isaac Watts
Music by Lowell Mason
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Ahead Of Its Time
7 June 2005 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) is a middle-aged, wealthy woman whose husband recently died. Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson) is Cary's younger, independent-minded landscape gardener. Ron reads Thoreau, respects nature, and values simplicity and honesty. Cary and Ron are attracted to each other. For Ron, marriage to Cary is an easy decision. But for Cary, the decision to marry Ron is harder. She must confront the disapproval of her grown children, and the disapproval of friends whose materialistic, country club values are inconsistent with the values of Thoreau.

In a town where people know each other's business, tongues wag. Feelings get hurt. Conflict erupts. The film's subdued lighting and vivid colors, combined with soft piano and velvety violin background music, create a tone that is sad and sentimental. Viewers are right to say that this Douglas Sirk directed film is a melodramatic soap opera.

Thinly veiled behind the simple plot, however, lies a profound message: "to thine own self be true". It is a message totally out of sync with 1950's America. Yet, the message would surface a decade later as the 1960's youth mantra: "do your own thing".

As an archetype, Ron seems too pure. And Cary's children and friends, shallow, selfish, vain, gossipy, and judgmental, are easy to dislike. This sharp dichotomy is somewhat unrealistic. But it gets the point across. And that point is a blistering indictment of 1950's American materialism and mindless conformity.

The film was thus ahead of its time. Despite its high technical quality, it was snubbed by the Oscars. In retrospect, "All That Heaven Allows" is superior to all five of the Oscar best picture nominees from that year. And its message is just as relevant now as it was fifty years ago.


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