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All That Heaven Allows

All That Heaven Allows(1956)

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  • Those two "children"....

    • Calvin
    • 11/11/18

    I just watched this movie and it's not bad. The plot is interesting and Jane Wyman and Agnes Moorehead put in solid performances. I suppose the movie is good because the two adult "children" of Carrie, Jane Wyman's character, are freaks of nature and they really bothered me. They are sanctimonious, shallow, selfish and self-centered. Their collective cruelty all but destroys their mother. Now, does this mean this is good acting because the characters evoke such a negative reaction from a viewer? Or does it mean the film is damaged because such total jack asses are portrayed as a part of actual life? These two adult "children" (as Carrie refers to them) come damn close to elder abuse by the way the manipulate, speak to and demand from their mother. They are infuriating to watch and listen to. The son is a pompous ass willing to play grown up man of the house when it suits his image and needs, but very willing to dodge all responsibility when something better comes up. There daughter is a total windbag spouting Freudian theories about sex and love. In reality, she is starved for any sort of attention from a male and one gets the sense that she would ditch her Princeton affectations for a tumble in the hay with just about any man. She would need to shut up and lay off the pontificating first, of course. If they ever do a remake of this film I hope they keep things as they are with one small change. Have the two "children" head back their Ivy League world but get obliterated in a train wreck.

  • those hateful "children"

    • Bev
    • 10/21/18

    Agness Moorhead, Jane Wyman, Hayden Rourke and Rock Hudson are the only likable characters in this version of "As The Stomach Turns." The rest of the Connecticut town is filled with people Auntie Mame would call "aryans from Darien." Worst of all are Wyman's insensitive, self-centered, arrogant and manipulative adult children. I'm not sure who is worse. Is it the adult son who insists the ancestral home must never be sold (until he conveniently changes his selfish mind). He basically threatens his mother with isolation when he vows to never visit her in the old mill restored to a beautiful hose built by Hudson's character, Ron. Then Kay, the budding psychology major who constantly offers brainless theories about love and relationships and the role of widowed women comes home a weeping wreck because "some of the kids at the library"--all college age one can assume, joke about her mother's relationship with Ron and how their opinions "bother her deeply." Mother gives in, dumps Ron and then, surprise, the "children" totally ditch her as the son moves to Paris and the daughter weds. Their selfishness is profound and deeply disturbing. They blindly and blithely trash their mother's dreams and just move on with their own needs. Those "children" are rotten characters. They drive so much of the story and have no conscience or concern for the pain they've caused. They are self-centered emotional wrecking balls. There is a happy ending of sorts, but it's a damn shame the plot didn't include a scene were these two adult "children" turds aren't wiped out in a train wreck or some other disaster equally satisfying and deserving. That would have brought real satisfaction to an agitated audience.

  • Enjoyable But Dated

    • Larry
    • 6/11/18

    The unusual colorization used in this film give it something of a comic book quality. It is a 90 minute soap opera. It's a fascinating glimpse into upper class suburban life the 1950s. And it's disturbing. Jane Wyman's character, a kind hearted widow, discovers a burgeoning friendship with the much younger Rock Hudson character. He plays a loner, a thinker, a spiritual sort who is above pettiness, gossip and the social climbing found in this prosperous Connecticut town. He is above it all. Jane Wyman, an actress of some talent (who clearly got herself locked into one hair style for forty years) falls for Hudson' philosophical view of life. Wyman's character has only one true friend (Agnes Moorehead) who plays a good person--one who wants Carrie (Wyman's character) to find happiness. But its Wyman's astoundingly self-centered and painfully selfish adult children who gum up the works. They pretend to play adults (the son mixes his father's favorite cocktails as he oversees his mother's suitors). The daughter studies sociology in college and spouts theories about love and relationships--none of which, evidently, apply to her mother. They sabotage her relationship with Hudson and are convinced a television set will provide her with all of her social and emotional needs until she dies. Sadly, there is no lightening bolt to strike these two demon spawn at the end of the movie as in "The Bad Seed." Hudson is ok but is too young for Wyman. I don't sense a chemistry between them. He is also not equal to her acting talent. He's better in comedy where he basically parodies himself. Also, in the conclusion, he is unconscious in the barn/house he has built. The doctor (a good guy) informs Carrie the Hudson has a concussion and that he must be kept asleep. This is very wrong medical advice. Concussion victims must be kept awake and alert. It's literary license to allow for a melodramatic ending.e

  • Glorious color

    • Barbara
    • 7/30/17

    I love the look of this film. The wonderful fall colors and winter wonderland are captured perfectly by Sirk and his DP. For its time, the photography was way before is time. It looks as if it was filmed yesterday and not in the 50s. I like the story even though it seems dated for 2017. Rock is Rock. What can you say. Handsome of course. Acting questionable, of course. Thank goodness he made Giant so we could see him act. But I'd take him in this film - - especially if I was Jane Wyman. She looks OK but I don't get this hair she has in almost all her films. What was the hair stylist thinking? Cute face but she looks so dated. The kids were awful but like many, obsessed with their own lives not thinking their Mom deserved one too. I don't understand Jane's motives. It's not like they were little kids she needed to raise. I think I could understand that. But they are off on their own. Why does she take them so seriously? Again, don't get her character. The final scene with the snowy backdrop, Rock resting on the couch, and the deer outside IS SO OVER THE TOP THAT I LOVE IT!

  • "What will the children think....?"

    • Trylon
    • 6/15/17

    The 1950s were, in many ways, the Dark Ages of 20th Century America and this film captures some of that darkness. This includes a world where women have little else to do other than "club work" and the "children," along with a community where everyone has an opinion about everyone else and lifestyle condemnation is a social science. Jane Wyman is strong as a lonely widow surrounded by a town of self-centered boobs (other than the characters played by Hayden Rourke and Agnes Moorehead--the only characters who are three dimensional). It's hard to take Rock Hudson seriously. Maybe it's the fact that the world has drastically changed in sixty years but his endlessly breathless dialogue, his overly dramatic observations on life, and that ridiculous Elmer Fudd hunting cap make him seem comical in 2017 and not at all the serious thinker and independent man he was supposed to be in 1955. Even worse, Carrie's so-called "children" are monsters. Whether it is 1955 or 2017, they are two of the most blatantly selfish and self-centered characters ever put on film. They are NOT children. They are young adults in college and their cruelty to their mother, Carrie (Jane Wyman's character) is epic. And after all of his fertilizer about never parting with the family home, the son returns for a visit and announces the house should be sold. His shallowness is overwhelming and it's frightening to think there are real human beings just as vapid and heartless as he.The role of television is an interesting comment on American in the 1950s. It is portrayed as a tool for "ladies" who have nothing else to do all day. The television salesman refers to his customers as "my ladies" and the idiot college senior son buys a tv for Carrie because he prefers she remain at home, a widow, alone and entertained by game shows and soap operas. 2017 may be a difficult time to be alive in a crazy world, but it's a damn sight better than the 1950s world portrayed in this film.

  • a lost love

    • linda
    • 6/14/17

    must have dvd of this movie It reminds me of my feelings for a man older than myself. Am iI really going to sit restless and loveless in front of an idiot box the rest of my life just because everyone says i have to

  • correction

    • kevin sellers
    • 2/1/17

    Meant to write "Hacksaw Ridge" not "Heartbreak." Apologize for the Eastwood/Gibson inversion. It's late and Jeff ticked me off.

  • response to previous review

    • kevin sellers
    • 2/1/17

    Jeff, in his previous review, says that Hollywood "conformity" is stronger than ever. Well, let's take a look at the four films nominated for best picture this year that I have seen; "La La Land," "Heartbreak Ridge," "Moonlight," and "Manchester By The Sea." One is a wistful musical set in L.A. the other is a coming of age story of a gay black male in Florida, the third is a patriotic war film (right up your alley, Jeff) and the fourth is a rather intense family drama in the O'Neill Irish mode, set in Boston. As fa as I can see these films could not be more dissimilar. So where is the conformity? Always a good idea to provide some evidence when you make sweeping statements.

  • Hudson hunts AND plays piano

    • Jeff Boston
    • 1/28/17

    Touche, Clichae. The review you posted yesterday hit the mark. Sirk uses crass and comical caricatures to fuel his social engineering, especially when Tarzan, I mean Rock, swings into the country club with Jane. He's even referred to as "Nature Boy." The message of the movie (which followed the pair's smash remake of "The Magnificent Obsession") is a good one ("To thine own self be true"), but what sticks is a gem in terms of human nature: Host Ben Mankiewicz stressed before and after the 1-16 (10pm) showing that critics dismissed the film at the time of its release, but in the 60's, university film schools and Hollywood re-evaluated it and liked its commentary that conformity in small communities was a bad thing. Ironic that it was in those same 60's that both universities and Hollywood started stressing that conformity in their small communities was a good thing, and a half-century later, the conformity is as strong as ever.

  • response to previous review

    • kevin sellers
    • 1/27/17

    Not "morons." Sirk's too good a director for that, Clichae. Rather "conventional" and "priggish," as I see it.

  • All That Heaven Disavows

    • Clichae
    • 1/27/17

    This sumptuous affair makes the concerned family & friends of the affluent widow's welfare (a normal behavior) look like morons! In conformity with today's 'whatever' convention, everything is permitted- except disapproval!

  • Have it recorded so can watch often!

    • Linda
    • 11/14/15

    All That Heaven Allows has been on my all time favorites list for years! It's my go to movie when I can't find a movie on tv I am interested in watching. The story, the actors, the scenery........perfection. A movie to get lost in!

  • all that heaven allows

    • kevin sellers
    • 7/22/15

    There are not too many movies you can think of that combine lush romanticism and razor sharp satire, but this sure is one, and it is the main reason why it has to rank on any list of the one hundred greatest American films. Accompanying the overdone piano music and the autumn leaves and the lovely clothing is an unsparing look at upper middle class suburban culture. And lest anyone think that the stultifying conformity and worship of material success that director Douglas Sirk so expertly skewers went out with the 1950s, I suggest they take a trip to Bethesda or Montclair or Brentwood or Winnetka. Of course, symbolizing the death in life of the 50s is the empty screen of the TV set that Carrie's stuffed shirt son buys her for Christmas, so that she won't be lonely in her "respectable" widowhood. Usually, I don't like it when movies take potshots at TV. It's not as if films were some paragon of artistic freedom in that Blacklisted era! But when we see Carrie's forlorn expression staring back at us through the emptiness of the tube it's a truly terrifying image. Don't know if this scene was Sirk's idea or screenwriter Peg Fenwick (who does a fine job delineating the warring classes in the Connecticut looking town of Stonington)but it's pure genius and is the one image that I took away from this film that has indelibly stuck in my head. As for Hudson and Wyman, both are great, especially Hudson, who has the more difficult role of the rebel. He manages to convey his attitude subtly and without undue speeechifying (Again, kudos to Fenwick's screenplay.) Wyman is not usually a favorite of mine, but she's well nigh perfect as a conventional, rich widow who suddenly falls for the wrong kind of guy. You can see the surprise, delight, and fear in her performance. Give it a very big A. P.S. Nice to see Agnes Moorhead playing a (relatively) nice person in movies, for a change.

  • Douglas Sirk Classic.

    • John
    • 5/19/15

    It's simply the best of the best.

  • Sirk's sarcasm

    • el debbo
    • 8/27/13

    Wasn't he often cynical about Americans and their conventional lives? This is a simple movie, and the sets are pretty simple, too, compared to other Sirk films... but it's a good watch. Rock Hudson does a fine job always, whether in "Seconds" or a Doris Day vehicle. I find Jane Wyman hard to take, such a prune, so it seemed odd that free-spirit Hudson would fall so hard for her. Anyhow, I love peeking at 50s Americana and this is a slice. Lots of undercurrents in this decade--- marrying outside your social class, defined by money, or in the case of World of Suzy Wong, race. Things were brewing. Also, I'm a BIG fan of Agnes Moorehead and here she is in living color-- the red hair, the lavender scarf around her neck. I'll even watch Pollyanna to see her!

  • Jane is between Rock and a hard place

    • Mari Karhula
    • 6/12/13

    I don't know why,but I simply adore this movie!The story about forbidden love,wonderful Technicolor,great chemistry between Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson,who really makes us believe that their characters will live happily ever after...should I go on?Middle-aged society dame Cary and her young,handsome gardener Ron are my all-time favourite movie lovers(they are clearly made for each other but nobody seems to exept their unorthodox affair,not even her crown children.)But don't worry,our love-birds will survive.Jane and Rock are both terrific,and so is Agnes Moorehead as Cary's loyal best friend Sara and Jacqueline De Witt as Cary's worst nightmare,nasty gossip Mona.(I'd like to strangle her!)A lovely,lovely movie.

  • All that Heaven Allows

    • Dashiell Barnes
    • 11/16/12

    Director Sirk's most romantic film. Wyman & Hudson give sincere performances as a middle-aged widow & her gardener whose love is tested by the wealthy citizen's of their town. This formulaic melodrama from Sirk is styled with wonderful colour compositions, from the cinematography to production design. Engaging observation about imprisonment and human nature. I give it a 4.5/5.

  • Wonderful Melodrama

    • Joan
    • 7/21/11

    Great 50's kitch, and camp. Wyman is a wonderful actress.

  • A Charming Film

    • top kat
    • 7/15/11

    This is a charming film, heartbreaking at times, as it challenges stereotypes about social status, age, love and marriage.

  • All That Heaven Allows

    • Elizabeth
    • 10/5/10

    Douglas Sirk had a way with ultra-polished-while-challenged -romances. Divine! The lighting is the tops...the cats meow! Rock looks dreamy. And Jane ...well....the first lady of "Cougar-town" is genius and elegantly subtle in her passions...for and purpose.TCM needs to a a tribute to Sirk and I want to be in the RED LEATHER chair next to Robert Osborne!A girl can dream....can't she?And Sirk is the perfect fish-bowl for the romantic in all of us.

  • All That Sirk Allows

    • Jarrod McDonald
    • 10/31/09

    First, I think film historians continue to misinterpret director Douglas Sirk's work. I don't think, as in this film he was trying to elevate the status of women per se, but rather make a damning indictment of the upper middle class in America at the time. And he did that much more effectively than what we see in Mike Nichol's 'The Graduate,' which drips with excess. Also, some critics have said Sirk's melodramas can be regarded as gay camp, thanks to the frequent presence of star Rock Hudson. I don't think Sirk and Hudson were trying to make covertly queer cinema, that's ridiculous. They were taking a, the older woman-younger man affair, and using it to critique the social mores of the era. And we can get into a discussion about Sirk's use of light, color and carefully staged camera work but then our criticism becomes either as trashy or as artful as Sirk seems to be commenting on (with disdain). No, I really think these films need to be looked as documents that slam so-called civilization and advocate for a return to the natural order. There's a toughness within a Sirk film which indicates that all these material trappings are a horror, and outright danger that engulfs not only the characters but the viewers too, if they're not careful.

  • No, she isn't a cougar female....

    • Lynn Bessette
    • 6/12/07

    A lovely story that shows how opinions can truly ruin a good romance. Ron is perfect for her, but her sarcastic friends will not let her give up her grieving widow role. Her children are self centered and selfish, especially her arrogant son, Ned. I especially like the dinner party scene where Ron is playing the piano and singing to her. She is so pretty and classy. You have to love Jane Wyman!!! I have to admit that I adore so many of the Rock Hudson movies and thought he was terribly romantic. It broke my heart to find out he was gay. However, this just shows what a wonderful actor he is as I believed with all my heart that he loved the women he played against in the movies..Pajama Game still gives me a thrill!

  • One of the best soap operas

    • Ray
    • 1/4/06

    Perhaps one of the best soap operas ever created in cinema.

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