January 09, 2009 at 05:00 AM EST

Magnificent Obsession

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
108 minutes
performer
Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman, Otto Kruger, Agnes Moorehead
director
Douglas Sirk
author
Robert Blees
genre
Drama

Even I, an ardent Douglas Sirk fan, admit Magnificent Obsession is not among the master’s best. Its goopy plot, about a frivolous playboy (Rock Hudson) redeemed by his love for a noble doctor’s widow (Jane Wyman), lacks the sharp edges of All That Heaven Allows or Written on the Wind. That said, it is adroitly constructed (and lovingly restored in this two-disc Criterion set), with committed performances by the two stars, and gorgeous, shadowy cinematography from frequent Sirk collaborator Russell Metty. EXTRAS include film scholar Thomas Doherty?s worthwhile commentary and a must-see 1980 interview with the smart, articulate Sirk. B+

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