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4.2 out of 5 stars
5
All I Desire [DVD]
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 6 January 2016
This is one of the best turn-of-the-century films I have seen, bringing it to emotional life in a way few others have done. The lines of force are shown to be the same as in the 1950s, or even now, to a large extent - the contrary pull of stability and adventure, family and the outside world, the feeling that life is elsewhere, keeping up appearances in the face of failure, the ironies at the heart of romantic attachment. It is in many ways comparable to a film like Shadow of a Doubt in its portrait of small-town life, but without the suspense it has fared less well with later generations. However it is consistently interesting, and the lines are very well written. At the heart of it is a brilliant central performance from Barbara Stanwyck, playing an actress who goes back for her daughter's graduation, having walked out on the family years before. The film may be shot in black and white (very beautifully), but it is far from black and white in the moral tone it conveys in just 76 minutes. There is a feminine bias, perhaps, in the way Stanwyck's glamour is played up whenever she makes an entrance, which happens several times; also in her often fraught dealings with two daughters, while the son is about fourteen, so is still brought under the sense of the film showing a woman's viewpoint, very subtly. In fact it is with the son that she has the most heartfelt scene, and makes you feel Sirk has touched the sublime. All the acting is very good - the adult male characters also - right to the German maid, but Stanwyck is a phenomenon, compelling in every moment of screen time she has. At the same time, the tone has a luxuriance that is the Sirk trademark, and it has the most wonderful ending.
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on 21 February 2013
This is a lovely piece of Hollywood ham with Barbara Stanwyck as a fallen woman - well she had an affair with a local rough and left home to become an actress leaing behind boring shoolmaster husband and some terrible daughters, one of whom wants to become an actress. The girl, who patently should not go on the stage, invites mother back to see her debut in the school play. Mother accepts, accidentally kills the old boyfriend and everything ends happily ever after. Stanwyck is terrific and dances the Bunny Hug.
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on 14 July 2014
Every Stanwyck movie is worth watching, some are just better than others, and i didn't find this the best, but still okay, and i don't regret buying it, its a sweet story, and the quality is good :)
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on 18 December 2008
This is a film from the German born American director, the great Douglas Sirk. This gentleman was one of those masters who exported the beauty of the German cinema to improve the American composition of frames.

One of the most important visual devices that had always fascinated Germans was the staircases. In this film we have again staircases. However we have something proper to Douglas Sirk: on the ground floor, on the mezanine, on the first floor... the action occurs everywhere at the same time, the one of each floor affecting the others. So you have both horizontal and vertical mise en scene and composition of the frames.

A perfect acting of every single actor of this film adds to its perfection
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on 27 October 2010
Pure licorice soaked overnight in home made grapes syrup and stewed in honey. It is so romantic, so honey pie dramatic and sweetheart tragic that we just wonder if that kind of Hollywood love affairs should not be multiplied all over the world to make better evil and worse good, or maybe to make evil better and good worse, or maybe to make better good and worse evil, or even to make worse evil and better good, or whatever crisscross shooting game to kill twenty birds with one stone. And here mind you a whole flock of migrating ducks were shot with one bullet from a simple hunting rifle.

I can't tell you how good it is and how bad it is. The bad mother comes back from Chicago or whatever and she is going to take her daughter to New York, but she was a bad mother who abandoned her family to be an actress, and she is going to be a bad wife this time and take one of her daughters along with her. Shame on you. Luckily the bad guy comes into the picture and summons her to their meeting point and she goes and he gets shot and she is the culprit of course and she has to leave and what is the husband, abandoned once and who is going to be abandoned a second time, going to do.

Please pray it ends well and the husband is a good man and the daughter is satisfied in her New York ambition, and that the wife will be punished for running around with sexual birds of prey and sexual offenders, pray for the girl to be strong enough to take her mother away from her father, pray the father is going to be enough of a coward to accept the pressure from the town and from his own daughters and the fate that is menacing him and let her go. Pray for a good ending and prey on it. Oh! How much the bird prey is a praying manta.

Dr Jacques COULARDEAU
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