HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Skinny Tiger, Fatty Dragon
Benediction
Nezha Reborn
Evil Toons
Worst Person in the World, The
Whirlpool
Hunter Will Get You
Superman/Batman: Apocalypse
Revolver
Men, The
Parallel Mothers
Sadness, The
Bloody New Year
Faye
Body Count
Spider-Man: No Way Home
'Round Midnight
Wild Men
Barry & Joan
Wake Up Punk
Twin, The
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy
One of These Days
Lift to the Scaffold
Savage Dawn
Rest in Pieces
Innocents in Paris
We're All Going to the World's Fair
Beyond the Door 3
Jules et Jim
Love Jones
Saint-Narcisse
Souvenir Part II, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
   
 
  Magnificent Obsession Love Is Blind
Year: 1954
Director: Douglas Sirk
Stars: Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman, Agnes Moorehead, Otto Kruger, Barbara Rush, Gregg Palmer, Sara Shane, Paul Cavanagh, Judy Nugent, Richard H. Cutting, Robert Williams, Will J. White, Helen Kleeb, Rudolph Anders, Fred Nurney, Mae Clarke
Genre: Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Millionaire playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) is out test driving his latest high-speed craft on the lake, oblivious to how much danger he may be putting him or his passenger in. She takes her chance to get out when Merrick pulls up at the dockside, and he zooms off alone, despite the advice of his crew, so it's no surprise when he loses control and crashes. A resuscitator is brought with the ambulance to save him, but it's the only one in the area and this means someone else in grave need of help dies as a result. That someone else is the much-respected Dr Phillips, who has suffered a heart attack, leaving a daughter, Joyce (Barbara Rush), and a widow, Helen (Jane Wyman) who was his second wife, to pick up the pieces.

And the person they blame for all this tragedy is Merrick, of course. This was one of the first of producer Ross Hunter's melodramas, most of which tend to have a camp appeal today with their anguish and suffering brought upon the beautiful people, more than a little ridiculous plotting, and a touch of classical music sprinkled over the top. It was also one of the first of director Douglas Sirk's soap opera style movies for Hunter, a "women's picture" that allowed audiences to indulge themselves in a couple of hours of misery, guaranteed to satisfy, especially if there was a swooningly romantic resolution.

Magnificent Obsession, scripted by Robert Blees from a novel by religious themed writer Lloyd C. Douglas, had been filmed before in the thirties, and Hunter would pull off the trick of restaging a previous, hit melodrama a few more times in his career with some success. Note the religious angle, though, because it's important as Merrick becomes an unlikely Christ figure; Dr Phillips, we soon learn, was just about a perfect human being (although we conveniently never actually meet him in order to judge), and a great surgeon to boot. Now the local hospital is in trouble without him.

Merrick is unaware of what he is partly responsible for thanks to his devil-may-care attitude, and he would rather be working out business deals on the telephone than find out why nobody wants to talk to him. He is told after a week of convalescing, and reacts by escaping his bed and stumbling out into the countryside where he is picked up by Helen (she seems to suffer far more undeserving misfortune than Merrick, who you could argue has done more to merit this - all part of his guilt trip, I guess). As he is an all round sleazy guy, he starts chatting her up, or he does until he finds out who she is and is seized by remorse, collapses, and is rushed back to hospital. Still not quite on the road to redemption, Merrick is eventually discharged and winds up at a bar, drowning his sorrows, leading to drunkenly crashing his car into a ditch.

It's because of this he meets the film's God stand-in, Randolph (Otto Kruger) and spends the night on his sofa. You'll notice that whenever anything significant happens, a heavenly choir is heard on the soundtrack as if we were in any doubt when Randolph sets Merrick right about his and Dr Phillips' brand of "secret" Christianity. This means doing good deeds but seeking no reward for them, which Merrick begins to carry out but what is preoccupying him is appeasing Helen, something he notably fails to do when he well-meaningly chases her out of a taxi and into the path of an oncoming car, an accident which blinds her. How can Merrick, now falling in love with the widow, save this situation? By turning into Dr Phillips, that's how, romancing Helen and studying medicine so that the Christ figure essentially comes back from the dead. A moving parable about a reformed character or a daft yarn about a man losing his identity for the greater good? Maybe Magnificent Obsession is a bit of both, professionally assembled nevertheless. Music by Frank Skinner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4873 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Enoch Sneed
   

 

Last Updated: