All that Heaven Allows by Douglas Sirk

920 WordsJan 25, 20184 Pages
In the 1950’s the melodrama genre came to age and there is no better example than Douglas Sirk’s All that Heaven Allows. The melodrama followed some basic characteristics which can be identified in the film. First and foremost the narrative of the melodrama focused on the family. All that Heaven Allows follows the narrative of the typical melodrama but at the same time also challenges the social conventions. While Sirk follows many of the key themes he does so in a more detached fashion. The protagonist Cary is bound to her community by her social class. Change was occurring in society and the melodrama displayed people’s restraint to this. In All that Heaven Allows Sirk began his focus on the female and her desires in contrast to the more conservative male focused melodrama. As with the melodrama the legibility of the story, displayed through the plot, is simple and easy to follow. “Our engagement with the story depends on our understanding of the pattern of change and stability, cause and effect, time and space” (Bordwell and Thompson, 2008). The linear time flow of the film allows for it’s simple understanding. This is added to by the expressiveness of the melodrama, where everything is brought into the open and nothing is left unsaid. The expressiveness of the melodrama is also represented in the highly expressive mise-en-scene. Sirks use of colour, the human figure, camera work, lighting and music allow him to portray suppressed meaning and significance. (b)

More about All that Heaven Allows by Douglas Sirk

Open Document