All That Heaven Allows

Watch All That Heaven Allows

"How much does Heaven Allow a Woman in Love?"
  • Approved
  • 1955
  • 1 hr 28 min
  • 7.6  (16,622)

All That Heaven Allows is a 1955 melodrama directed by Douglas Sirk and starring Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, and Agnes Moorehead. The film tells the story of Cary Scott (Wyman), a wealthy widow living in a small New England town. Despite the demands of her social position, Cary longs for companionship and falls in love with her handsome and younger gardener, Ron Kirby (Hudson). But their romance is met with disapproval from Cary's children and snobbish friends, who believe Ron is beneath her stature.

The film explores the themes of aging, societal expectations, and the conflict between conventional morality and personal happiness. Cary is a woman trapped in a life of loneliness and conformity, where her home and social status serve as a mask for her true desires. Her attraction to Ron represents a break from the monotony of her life, but it also brings to the surface the prejudices and insecurities of those around her. Ron, on the other hand, represents liberation and vitality, a youthful ideal that Cary is drawn to but fears may threaten her social standing.

Throughout the film, we see how Cary struggles with the expectations placed on her by her friends and family. Her children, in particular, are a significant source of tension, as they fear being ostracized by their peers if their mother goes through with her relationship with Ron. Cary's closest friend, Sara Warren (Moorehead), is also a voice of caution, urging Cary to consider her reputation and warning her of the consequences of defying conventions. But despite these pressures, Cary persists in her love for Ron, unwilling to sacrifice her own happiness for the sake of others.

The central conflict in the story is played out in the juxtaposition of nature and society. Ron embodies the natural world, with his love of the outdoors and his simple, unpretentious lifestyle. Cary, on the other hand, represents the trappings of polite society: her elegant home, her fine clothes, and her social connections. The two worlds collide when Cary invites Ron to a party at her home, where his lack of sophistication and formal attire provide fodder for gossip and ridicule. The scene is a powerful critique of the hypocrisies of upper-class society and their obsession with appearances.

The film's cinematography is also worth noting, with its use of color and lighting to convey mood and emotion. Sirk employs vivid Technicolor hues to create a contrast between the warmth and simplicity of Ron's world and the coldness and artificiality of Cary's. The shots of nature, with their vibrant yellows, oranges, and greens, are a visual testament to the power of love and the beauty of the simple life that Ron offers.

Overall, All That Heaven Allows is a powerful portrait of the struggle for personal freedom and happiness in the face of societal expectations. It offers a compelling critique of the conformity and hypocrisy of polite society, and a celebration of the natural world and the human spirit. Its message is as relevant today as it was in 1955, a testament to the enduring power of this classic film.

All That Heaven Allows is a 1955 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 28 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

All That Heaven Allows
Where to Watch All That Heaven Allows
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 28 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (16,622)