All That Heaven Allows

All That Heaven Allows

Infobox Film | name = All That Heaven Allows

caption = Original theatrical poster
director = Douglas Sirk
producer = Ross Hunter
writer = Story:
Edna Lee
Harry Lee
Peg Fenwick
starring =Jane Wyman
Rock Hudson
music =Frank Skinner
cinematography = Russell Metty
editing = Frank Gross
distributor = Universal International Pictures
released = flagicon|USA December 1955
runtime = 89 min.
language = English
budget =
amg_id = 1:83484
imdb_id = 0047811

"All That Heaven Allows" (1955) is a romance feature film starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson in a story about a well-to-do widow falling in love with a young landscape designer. The screenplay was written by Peg Fenwick based upon a story by Edna L. Lee and Harry Lee. The film was directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter. In 1995, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. "All That Heaven Allows" has been broadcast on American television and is available in VHS and DVD format.


"All That Heaven Allows" is a melodrama set in a small town. Cary Scott (Jane Wyman) is a well-to-do widow gradually re-entering a social life amongst her mostly dull country club peers. Her only apparent enjoyment in life comes from weekend visits from her college-age children. Cary then meets a handsome younger man, Ron (Rock Hudson), who owns a small landscaping business. Ron is a follower of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden", and "hears a different drummer", enjoying a life focused on nature; he is deliberately uninterested in the gossipy opinions of others. Their romance causes clashes and tensions between Cary, her children and the country club folk but, in defiance of social norms, the two are united at film's end.


*Cary Scott (Jane Wyman)
*Ron Kirby (Rock Hudson)
*Sara Warren (Agnes Moorehead)
*Harvey (Conrad Nagel)
*Alida Anderson (Virginia Grey)
*Kay Scott (Gloria Talbott)
*Ned Scott (William Reynolds)
*Mona Plash (Jacqueline De Wit)
*Mick Anderson (Charles Drake)
*Jo-Ann (Leigh Snowden)
*Mary Ann (Merry Anders)
*Howard Hoffer (Donald Curtis)
*Manuel (Nestor Paiva)


Universal-International Pictures wanted to follow up on the pairing of Wyman and Hudson from Douglas Sirk's "Magnificent Obsession". Sirk found the screenplay for "All That Heaven Allows" "rather impossible" but was able to restructure it and use the big budget to film and edit the work exactly the way he wanted.Fact|date=February 2007


The title is probably taken from the poem "Love and Life" by John Wilmot (1647–1680), the last stanza of which is:

Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows:
If I by miracle can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
'Tis all that heaven allows. [ [ 414. Love and Life. John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester. The Oxford Book of English Verse ] ]


Bosley Crowther generally panned the film and commented in the "New York Times" of February 29, 1956: "The script was obviously written to bring [Wyman] and Mr. Hudson, who made a popular twosome in the "Magnificent Obsession," together again. Solid and sensible drama plainly had to give way to outright emotional bulldozing and a paving of easy clichés." [ [ "New York Times" Review] ]

Awards and honors

In 1995, "All That Heaven Allows" was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

References in other films

"All That Heaven Allows" was the inspiration for Rainer Werner Fassbinder's "" (1974) in which a mature woman falls in love with an Arab man. The film was spoofed by John Waters with his 1981 film "Polyester". Todd Haynes' "Far From Heaven" (2002) is an homage to Sirk's work, in particular "All That Heaven Allows" and "Imitation of Life".


External links

* [ Criterion Collection essay by Laura Mulvey]
* [ DVD Review]

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