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Staff Picks: ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS
November 13, 2017 @ 9:00 pm
As a throwback to the good ol’ days when Videology was just a video store, we’re going back to our roots for our new Staff Picks series. Staff Picks is a chance for the Videology team to flex their cinematic muscles and share its favorite cinema with The People.
Our newest pick is ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS, from one of our favorite bartenders, Chris!
“My love of Douglas Sirk begins with my intense fondness for John Waters’ Polyester (If I had to pick one, probably my favorite film.) Waters is a big Sirk fan, and after some additional reading, I learned that Polyester is actually a great big satire of All That Heaven Allows.
Watching this film was a revelation of context and my first taste of a genre of film I had not yet experienced, the “Woman’s Picture.” These 1950s-1960s films were usually second rate and featured bored, frustrated and troubled older women that find release through a younger man. Sirk’s gorgeous technicolor melodrama truly transcends the genre and is simply beautiful to watch. Rock Hudson is legendary as the archetypal, uber heterosexual gardener that soothes Jane Wyman’s lonely heart.
The events of Rock Hudson’s personal life during the release of this film are also fascinating. In 1955, the year this film was released, a gossip rag called Confidential Magazine threatened to publish details about Hudson’s secret homosexual life. Hudson’s agent, Henry Wilson, stalled this by releasing information about the arrest of another one of his client’s arrests at a party in 1950. This client was Tab Hunter, who would later star as the romantic lead in Polyester opposite Divine. To cover things up, Hudson then married his agent’s secretary who claimed they had been in a relationship for several months.
Watching All That Heaven Allows through the lens of Rock Hudson’s personal life heightens the already palpable melodrama and shows us just how big the closets of the 1950s could be.” -Chris Loar, bartender.
An upper-class widow falls in love with a much younger, down-to-earth nurseryman, much to the disapproval of her children and criticism of her country club peers.
Chris Loar is an actor/writer/comedian/artist/drink soldier based in Brooklyn. Learn more about him here: www.christopherloar.com
Dir. Douglas Sirk. 89 min. 1955.