another sirk masterpiece. if i were a filmmaker he’d be one of my major influences. the themes and motifs that he works with are inspired and thoughtful without being too oblique or too literal; they’re right in the middle. sirk is to mirrors as kurosawa is to weather.
there’s a lot to this film – the class issues within rock hudson, the impotence of richard stack, the twisted sexuality of dorothy malone, and the maternal, dutiful lauren bacall. i love that when people are welcoming bacall into the hadley family, after she marries stack, people say “welcome to hadley.” it’s a reminder of the institution of the hadley family – the town is named after them and it just reinforces the weight that stack ultimately feels as the male heir. the music is very good and uses source music in the score which is an interesting touch.