Magnificent Obsession

  • Dir: Douglas Sirk

  • USA, 1954, English, 108min, DCP

  • Cast: Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, Agnes Moorehead

An object lesson in how Sirk’s camp aesthetic turns trash into gold: will an egoistic playboy find redemption and become a distinguished neurosurgeon after he accidentally blinds a widow who is the object of his unrequited love? The sheer outrageousness of the premise would be off-putting enough in the hands of others, but Sirk revels in the melodramatic excess of this parable of “”pay it forward”” altruism, lavishing on it his trademark expressionist visuals. The film’s success cemented Sirk’s partnership with producer Ross Hunter at Universal, as well as cinematographer Russell Metty and stars Hudson and Wyman, marking the beginning of a series of landmark melodramas that would come to define the genre.

Academy Awards: Best Actress nomination



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