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One can’t watch the film today in the same way one would is a more mysterious beast, one that doesn’t work without a belief in Sirk’s form. If you pass, you might also come to realize that Bob’s decision to overthrow rationality because the cherub choir swells to a crescendo is the film’s best self-fulfilling metaphor., it’s unquestionably the most attractive Criterion release of a Douglas Sirk film on the market.
The colors are still not dazzling per se, but they’re appropriately saturated in a way that seems an acceptable truce between melodrama and veracity.
(For one thing, this purported melodrama has less incidental music than most Iranian films I’ve seen.) Cast: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Barbara Rush, Agnes Moorehead, Otto Kruger, Gregg Palmer, Sara Shane, Paul Cavanagh, Judy Nugent, George Lynn, Richard H. Williams, Will White, Helen Kleeb Director: Douglas Sirk Screenwriter: Robert Blees Distributor: The Criterion Collection Running Time: 108 min Rating: NR Year: 1954 Release Date: August 20, 2019 Buy: Video, his uncontestable masterpiece, and one American cinema’s unimpeachable classics, Lee deftly follows the actions of two dozen people on what turns out to be one of the longest, hottest, most memorable and maybe most tragic days of their lives.
And he does it without so much as a single lugubrious or extraneous moment.
Stahl in 1935, and accentuates all the aspects that work: incidental coincidences, irrational decisions, sermons of nebulous denomination.
His commitment to the ridiculous is what finesses that trademark Sirkian irony, but it’s not a safe, intelligent irony.
But this doctor happens to have a heart attack at the very moment his device is saving Hudson’s life, after which Bob spends a long and frosty recuperation at the hospital run by—guess who?
It ends with a medical miracle that sees Bob himself attempting a lifesaving operation on that doctor’s widow, Helen Phillips (Wyman), but not before achieving a mystical spiritual rebirth and, just for the ladies, scrubbing down in the longest shirtless surgical prep scene in cinematic history.
Somewhere in between those two story points, Bob indirectly causes Helen to go blind, discovers something like a god in the form of a cryptically gay-ish artiste (Otto Kruger), entertains Helen with the help of an adolescent live-action Peppermint Patty (Judy Nugent), and goes a little gray at the temples. Sirk takes this plot, already committed to film in workmanlike fashion by John M.
Luckily, there’s still more than enough to keep fans busy.
First is an audio commentary by Thomas Doherty that’s probably a little more studied and less revelatory than the film’s tone merits, but overall rich with detail and insight.