Monday, April 29, 2013

Movie Night: All That Heaven Allows 1955

Sigh...All that Heaven Allows is the kind of movie that makes you want to curl up on the sofa on a rainy day. Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman star in this 1955 love story in technicolor glory. She is a lonely widow surrounded by country club friends and their groping husbands. He is a hunky gardener, who is caring for the trees surrounding her suburban home.

I heard about this movie in a book called Eternal on the Water by Joseph Monninger. In his lovely novel about love and loss, the main character has a favorite movie that shapes her life. You've got it: All that Heaven Allows. She talks about the movie so much, that I determined to find a copy and watch it for myself. I did not realize that this movie was the inspiration for one of my modern-day favorites Far From Heaven - which was filmed and directed to reflect the style of this genre with its rich, saturated colors and sweeping melodrama.

Jane Wyman is a lovely, classy actress - and here she plays a misunderstood widow who is trying to decide what she wants out of life.

Her husband's death has caused everybody, including the nosy neighbors, to voice their opinion about her actions and her future.

Into this scene walks Rock Hudson in all of his handsome splendidness. He is the strong silent type who hangs out with beatniks and drinks Chianti out of straw-wrapped bottles. He introduces her to a different type of filled with passion and spontaneity.

But loving him, means giving up the life she has known. Although, she would get to live in the Mill he so carefully restores...complete with a roaring fireplace and a huge dramatic picture window.


I can't give away anymore without ruining the ending. I loved every minute of it. All That Heaven Allows is romantic and complicated. It has wonderful scenes of life in the 1950s - both among the country club set and the regular folks.

It will tug at your heart strings and make you sigh...the perfect movie night.