Part of Weekend Classics: Douglas Sirk.
This heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s American mores by Douglas Sirk follows the blossoming love between a well-off widow (Jane Wyman) and her handsome and earthy younger gardener (Rock Hudson). When their romance prompts the scorn of the widow’s children and her country club friends, she must decide whether to pursue her own happiness or carry on a lonely, hemmed-in existence for the sake of the approval of others. With the help of ace cinematographer Russell Metty, Sirk imbues nearly every shot with a vivid and distinct emotional tenor. A profoundly felt film about class and conformity in small-town America, ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS is a pinnacle of expressionistic Hollywood melodrama. (Synopsis courtesy of Criterion Collection)
“Even if it was viewed as novelettish nonsense, this would still make deliciously illicit entertainment. But, thanks to Sirk's eye for an image, it's also enthralling cinema.” —David Parkinson, Empire “Sirk surpasses melodramatic cliches by securing an exceptional performance from Wyman, whose soft face, as watchful and nervously expectant as a child's, is captivating throughout, subtly registering every chink of hope and approaching black cloud. This is her, and Sirk's finest hour.” —Jane Graham, The Guardian