That's not to say that Sirk's 1954 remake of a 1935 film, and adaptation of the 1929 novel by Lloyd C. Douglas, is not a melodramatic gem. The story focuses on reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson, in his first leading role), whose boat-crashing antics inadvertently kill Helen Phillips' (Jane Wyman) husband. When Merrick falls for the widow, he learns a lesson in selflessness and giving to others -- but not before Helen is blinded in an accident that was once again a result of Merrick's actions. Whereas the melodrama in Sirk's major works are supported by substantive themes that still resonate today -- the racism that forces Sarah Jane to abandon her mother in Imitation of Life, for example -- Magnificent Obsession drowns in its sentimentality.
Continue reading: Magnificent Obsession Review
Unfortunately, the mystery here is random and a bit obtuse, and the jokes just aren't as funny with all the ultra-dark goings on.
Continue reading: Another Thin Man Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.