A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
Wealthy Samuel Fulton is getting older and has no family of his own. He decides to leave his estate to the family of his first love, who turned down his marriage proposal years ago because ... See full summary »
An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
El Hedi ben Salem,
In present-day U.S., Dr. Michael Parker, a prominent surgeon, unexpectedly runs into his German-born wife whom he thought was dead. Victor, an artist and his "dead" wife's now boyfriend, ... See full summary »
The story of a young woman, Helen Banning, who travels to Munich in search of life experience and romance. While working for America House, she meets a famous symphony conductor, Tonio ... See full summary »
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
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
The house Jane Wyman's character lives in (on Universal's "Colonial Street" backlot) was built by on rented Universal property by Paramount Pictures for 1955's "Desperate Hours"; Universal left it standing after filming, altering its appearance for "All That Heaven Allows." Four years later, it was altered again, for use as the house of the Cleaver family in TV's "Leave it to Beaver," beginning with the show's move from CBS to ABC for the 1959 season. The house continued as the Cleaver house until the end of the series in 1962, but was known at Universal as the "Paramount House," not the "Cleaver House." See more »
When the door to the butcher's shop is opened, the camera and some crew members are clearly visible in a reflection. See more »
Douglas Sirk is a truly underrated director, and this film shows why. Although this film becomes more highly regarded as the years go by, especially by non-Americans, it is usually regarded as just a well made soaper. Big mistake. This is a very angry film, a scathing commentary on the conformity and mindlessness that characterized much of the 1950s. Remember, this film was made in 1955, before there were any beatniks or hippies, before the civil rights movement, before there was any pot smoking, before anyone beyond the fringes questioned any of the basic values underlying capitalist America. America was at the peak of its power and prestige, and this was perhaps the first mainstream film that questioned the values that presumably were responsible for that ascendancy. Because this film is essentially about class and the primacy that human relationships must have over material gain, social acceptance, and social conformity.
Think of the forbidden (at the time) themes that this film deals with. Older woman, younger man. The shallowness, insipidity, and snobbery of the upper middle class arrivistes who have "made it," all of which masks their basic insecurity, unhappiness, and self-loathing. A male lead who doesn't care about acceptance by anyone, who doesn't care about money or success, who just wants to be happy and "do his own thing," well over a decade before that phrase was coined. The Wyman character foolishly (at first) decides that acceptance by her peers and children is more important than finding happiness with a man she truly loves, and what does she end up with for companionship? A television set! This was the decade in which "The Lonely Crowd" was published, and this film exemplifies that concept, as well as striking examples of other- vs. inner-directed, far better than any other film of its time.
Sirk was truly a visionary, well ahead of his time. This was why this film inspired Fassbinder's "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" and Todd Haynes' "Far from Heaven." It is all the more powerful for having been made then and in not being a retrospective look, as is "Far from Heaven," from a more "enlightened" future time. For its social import, I rate this 9/10.
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