Saturday, 2 June 2012

Magnificent Obsession (film)

The Sunday afternoon film at the Underground Theatre in June will be Magnificent Obsession. This 1954 classic stars Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman in 'The Great Love Story'.

When churlish, spoilt rich man Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) foolishly wrecks his speed boat, the rescue team resuscitates him with equipment that is, therefore, unavailable to aid a local hero, Dr. Wayne Phillips, who dies as a result. Phillips had helped many people, and when Merrick learns Phillips' secret, to give selflessly and in secret, he tries it himself in a particularly clumsy way. The result further alienates Phillips' widow, Helen (Jane Wyman), with whom Merrick has fallen in love. Merrick's persistence causes another tragedy, and he is forced to rebuild his life in an attempt to make amends and win her love.

Douglas Sirk directed this remake of a 1935 film based on the Lloyd Douglas novel. Despite a 'soap opera' storyline that Sirk himself hated, his resulting film is very much more than just a weepie. His use of colour and reflections give a distinctive look and he managed to get an Oscar nomination for Jane Wyman. This was the second film that Sirk and Rock Hudson had made together and the actor turns in a great performance which is often considered to have pushed him up into the Hollywood A-list. Although apparently he was very nervous leading to some scenes being reshot up to forty times!

Underground Theatre, Sun 17th June, 14:30.
£6.50 to include Tea & Cakes (served after the film)

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