All That Heaven Allows

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  • Drama, Melodrama, Romance , produced in 1955 USA
  • Actors: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson
  • Directed by: Douglas Sirk
  • Rating: 7.60 out of 10 (2402 votes)
  • Plot Summary: In ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, Douglas Sirk's haunting suburban morality play, Jane Wyman plays Cary Scott, a wealthy middle-aged widow in love with a younger man considered by those around her to be far below her social standing. Her torrid affair with Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson), a handsome, earthy gardener, quickly creates unbearable societal pressure for Cary. Giving in to the scathing criticism of her stodgy neighbors and her materialistic children, Cary severs contact with Ron. She then discovers--perhaps too late--that her heart cannot be so easily caged.

    Wyman delivers a strong, emotive performance, and Hudson smolders as her feverish romantic interest. ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, marked by Sirk's distinctive, lavish visual style, stands as a searing example of how materialism can result in alienation from natural feelings. The film was remade in 1974 with additional interracial themes by German director (and unabashed Sirk fan) Rainer Werner Fassbinder as ALI: FEAR EATS THE SOUL; and later paid homage by Todd Haynes in his 2002 reworking FAR FROM HEAVEN.
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