Universal Backlot Blogathon: All That Heaven Allows (1955)

This post is an entry in the Universal Backlot Blogathon, hosted by Kristen at her blog Journeys in Classic Film. Please visit her site to read all the other great entries and let her know she’s doing a great job on hosting her very first blogathon! :-)

“Black and white is more beautiful than color in my eyes.”

No, that’s not a quote from an actress, director, or fashion designer . . . it’s just a quote from me that I use as part of my Twitter bio. I have no idea if that’s corny or not, but it just came to me one day and I really liked it, so I’ve been using it ever since. :-)

I’m referring to movies of course, and for me that quote applies probably about 95% of the time. I’ve come to love black and white movies so much that I just prefer them over color now.

But every once in a while I’ll watch an old movie in color that will be an exception to that rule. Such was the case recently when I watched All That Heaven Allows (1955), starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.

When I first started watching the movie, I was struck by how beautiful and vivid the colors were. I was also happy when I realized it was set in a small, scenic New England town for the same reasons I discussed in my review of the movie The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.

All That Heaven Allows was directed by Douglas Sirk, and if you’ve ever read any discussions about this movie or any of his so called “melodramas” such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), or Imitation of Life (1959), you know there is much debate about the quality of those movies. Some think they are nothing but corny, overly sentimental soap operas while others believe they are great movies that provide important social commentary on life in the 1950’s. Continue reading →

Saturday State Post: Classic Movie Actors from Massachusetts

In this week’s actors by state post, I looked to the eastern United States for the first time by the choosing the state of Massachusetts. Today’s list contains two co-stars of the 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses along with two actresses who achieved notable firsts for women in the film industry.

Bette Davis

Born:  April 15, 1908 in Lowell, MA

Died:  October 6, 1989 (age 81)

Married four times including once to her All About Eve co-star Gary Merrill

Known for the Movies:  Of Human Bondage, Jezebel, Now Voyager, All About Eve


Interesting Facts About Bette Davis:

  • She was nominated for an Academy Award five years in a row from 1939-1943, a record she shares with Greer Garson.
  • She was the first female president of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the first female to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.
  • Along with John Garfield and Jules Stein, she was instrumental in creating the Hollywood Canteen, a club that offered food and entertainment to U.S. service men and women. In later years Bette commented, “There are few accomplishments in my life that I am sincerely proud of. The Hollywood Canteen is one of them.” Continue reading →