Moviedrome Mondays: All That Heaven Allows (1955) and The Reckless Moment (1949)

This week’s Moviedrome Monday blog entry is a double-bill consisting of two Classical Hollywood era melodramas centering around a female as it’s leading character.

All That Heaven Allows (1955)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to legendary cult director Douglas Sirk’s 1955 quintessential melodrama All That Heaven Allows. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was March 1, 1998 (read here). Everything Cousins says here perfectly demonstrates why Sirk is a master filmmaker of melodramas and more. One oft-cited example comes from his how he marries visual style (his beautiful, expressive and exuberant use of color and black-and-white) with content (over-the-top emotions and an implicitly scathing depiction of suburban conformity respectively defining the characters and drama). Anybody who has seen Todd Haynes superb 2002 period drama Far from Heaven, will know exactly what I am talking about. In fact, it has been reported that directors Pedro Almodovar, Rainer Werner Fassbinder and John Waters (to name just three) cite him as one of their many influences. Let us not also forget that director/writer Quentin Tarantino named a restaurant menu item after him (i.e. the Douglas Sirk Steak) in 1994’s Pulp Fiction. Last, not least, All That Heaven Allows notably influenced Fassbinder’s masterful 1974 drama Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. If any of you readers are interested, here is a list of my favorite Douglas Sirk films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to All That Heaven Allows

Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Here is a youtube video link to a brief interesting essay/review of the film

Also, here is a youtube video link to Independent American director Allison Anders Trailers from Hell commentary for it

The Reckless Moment (1949)

I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Mark Cousins introduction to legendary director Max Ophuls great 1949 American film-noir melodrama The Reckless Moment. Readers can also read Cousins intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was March 2, 1998 (read here). Once again, Cousins perfectly sums up why Max Ophuls is such a master filmmaker. The elegant tracking shots that define his visual style, has reportedly influenced later cinematic artists like Stanley Kubrick and Paul Thomas Anderson (to name just two examples). This aforementioned trademark that shaped Ophuls later European masterpieces (i.e. La Ronde, Le Plaisir, The Earrings of Madame de… and Lola Montes) is not only also evident here in The Reckless Moment, but also in his other two American masterworks (i.e. Letter from an Unknown Woman and Caught). If any of you readers are interested, here is a list of my favorite Max Ophuls films (read here).

Here is a youtube video link to Mark Cousins Moviedrome intro to The Reckless Moment

I could not find a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer

Also, here is a youtube video link to an analysis/appreciation of Max Ophuls by director/writer Paul Thomas Anderson – in it, he is discussing The Earrings of Madame de… and you can also find this special feature on The Criterion Collection edition of that aforementioned film (see here).

My Favorite Douglas Sirk Films

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Written on the Wind (1956)

2.   Imitation of Life (1959)

3.   There’s Always Tomorrow (1956)

4.   A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)
(I saw it on an old VHS tape)

5.   All That Heaven Allows (1955)

6.   The Tarnished Angels (1957)

7.   Magnificent Obsession (1954)

8.   All I Desire (1953)

9.   Interlude (1957)

10. Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952)

11. Thunder on the Hill (1951)

12. Lured (1947)

13. A Scandal in Paris (1946)

14. Shockproof (1949)

15. Captain Lightfoot (1955)

16. Taza, Son of Cochise (1954)

My Favorite Douglas Sirk Films (Revised and Updated)

* * * * (Out of * * * *)

1.   Imitation of Life (1959)

2.   The Tarnished Angels (1957)

3.   A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958)

4.   Written on the Wind (1956)

5.   All That Heaven Allows (1955)

6.   Magnificent Obsession (1954)

* * * 1/2 (Out of * * * *)

1.   Interlude (1957)

2.   There’s Always Tomorrow (1956)

3.   All I Desire (1953)

5.   Shockproof (1949)

6.   Lured (1947)