All I Desire

79 minutes 2013

A failed actress and mother of three (Barbara Stanwyck) returns to the husband (Richard Carlson) and family she deserted years before in this superior 1953 drama by Douglas Sirk, a very personal reworking of a standard soap-opera plot. True to form, Sirk transforms the material through a careful and ironic subversion of the conventions; what emerges is a biting assessment of the value of survival in the face of small-town meanness and prejudice, a neat use of a very bourgeois format to satirize its audience.

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