Magnificent Obsession (1954)



Once you find the way, you’ll be bound. It will obsess you. but believe me, it will be a magnificent obsession.

Douglas Sirk directs this melodrama about the playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) who looses control of his speedboat and causes Dr Phillips  to have a heart attack and die.

The rest of the film is weird. Helen Phillips (Jane Wyman) who is Dr Phillips’ widow ends up confronting  Bob in her car. He then drunkenly  ends up at the home of Edward Randolph (Otto Kruger) who inspires him in some way with philosophy but then blinds Helen who runs away from his advances.

And then, basically he tries to fool her to fall in love with him and vows to become a doctor (in a pretty unrealistic time frame) so he can make her better..

I admire melodrama somewhat, having studied it for a term but I found this film very dire to watch. Rock Hudson, the 1950s leading man’s performance was pretty pathetic and unconvincing; Jane Wyman, whom I have recognised from  the 1960s adaptation of Pollyana with Haley Mills didn’t do herself any favours despite winning herself the ‘Best Actress’ Academy Award Nomination. I found Kruger’s character to be the only redeeming figure in the film with his ‘wise words.’

Simply and unrealistic piece of cinema where the lead actors could do better.

My rating: 2/5

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