7.1/10
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Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 7 August 1954 (USA)
Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
A rich playboy whose recklessness inadvertently causes the death of a prominent doctor tries to make amends to his widow, and falls for her in the process.

Director:

Douglas Sirk

Writers:

Lloyd C. Douglas (novel), Robert Blees (screenplay) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Wyman ... Helen Phillips
Rock Hudson ... Bob Merrick
Agnes Moorehead ... Nancy Ashford
Otto Kruger ... Randolph
Barbara Rush ... Joyce Phillips
Gregg Palmer ... Tom Masterson
Paul Cavanagh ... Dr. Giraud
Sara Shane ... Valerie
Richard H. Cutting ... Dr. Dodge
Judy Nugent ... Judy
Helen Kleeb ... Mrs. Eden
Rudolph Anders ... Dr. Fuss
Fred Nurney Fred Nurney ... Dr. Laradetti
John Mylong ... Dr. Hofer
Alexander Campbell ... Dr. Allan
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Storyline

When churlish, spoiled rich man Bob Merrick foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates him with equipment that's therefore unavailable to aid a local hero, Dr. Wayne Phillips, who dies as a result. Phillips had helped many people, and when Merrick learns Phillips' secret, to give selflessly and in secret, he tries it in a ham-handed way. The result further alienates Phillips' widow, Helen, with whom Merrick has fallen in love. Merrick's persistence causes another tragedy, and he must remake his life, including going back to medical school, in an attempt to make amends and win her love. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE STORY OF A WOMAN'S NEED FOR A MAN that will become one of the great emotional thrills of your lifetime! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #457. See more »

Goofs

In early scenes of Bob Merrick's boat racing on the lake, he is warned to be careful because "...it is really kicking up out there!" but we immediately see the lake and it is calm, almost without any waves at all. See more »

Quotes

Valerie: [first lines]
Valerie: Bob! Bob, take it easy!
Dr. Bob Merrick: Easy? Where's that get ya?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in You Bet Your Life: Episode #9.22 (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Consolations, S. 172 No. 3 in D flat major - Lento, placido
Written by Franz Liszt
See more »

User Reviews

Fairy-tale coloured technicolour eye-candy from Sirk.
29 July 2004 | by Ben_CheshireSee all my reviews

Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) gets his commuppance and learns to be not such a reckless rich twat, with the help of a fairy godfather and falling in love with a woman he made go blind!

If you've never heard of Douglas Sirk, be prepared that this will be melodrama city. Production values are superb, though. Sirk was a very talented craftsman, as well as creating a beautiful aesthetic for these films.

Sirk made the hospital and the classic American home look as artificial and sanitised as he could: with lipstick so bright and full the lips jump off the faces, sculpted hair and good looks, everything in its right place and colours so stark it looks like a children's colour book. These locales are contrasted with a couple of other places, darkly beautiful: the scene where Rock is sitting at a bar, which starts with the rather loose and drunk looking woman leaning up against the wall, with curls of cigarette smoke and beautiful light in the background. The other is the night scene in Paris, with such exquisite light coming through the doors of the apartment.

Rock is actually pretty good in the film, and really perfect looking. I can see why Sirk picked him out - he's a Ken doll - playing the fantasy American: rich, beautiful and devil-may-care. And after this flick, he was also a star.

3/5. I liked La Habanera better, though.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

7 August 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Magnificent Obsession See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.00 : 1
See full technical specs »

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