Part of Weekend Classics: Douglas Sirk.
Reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson, in his breakthrough role) crashes his speedboat, requiring emergency attention from the town’s only resuscitator — at the very moment that a beloved local doctor has a heart attack and dies waiting for the lifesaving device. Thus begins one of Douglas Sirk’s most flamboyant master classes in melodrama, a delirious Technicolor mix of the sudsy and the spiritual in which Bob and the doctor’s widow, Helen (Jane Wyman), find themselves inextricably linked amid a series of increasingly wild twists, turns, trials and tribulations. (Synopsis courtesy of Criterion Collection)
“Every step depends on stifled emotions and closely guarded secrets, resulting in a buildup of operatic passion that endows everyday gestures and inflections with grandeur and nobility.” —Richard Brody, New Yorker “...Primary credit for mooring the picture to an earthly and earthy plane belongs to the two stars. In appealing contrast to Miss Dunne's pristine languor, Miss Wyman is, as usual, refreshingly believable throughout. And playing his first major role, the strapping, manly Mr. Hudson gives a fine, direct account of himself…” —Howard Thompson, New York Times