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 →