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Magnificent Obsession (Criterion) (1954)

Cast: Jane Wyman, Jane Wyman, Rock Hudson, more...
Director: Douglas Sirk, Douglas Sirk
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Studio: Criterion
Genre: Classics, Drama, Romance, Classic Romance, Classic Drama, Weepies
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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This second film version of Lloyd C. Douglas' spiritual novel Magnificent Obsession is in its own way as successful as the first (filmed in 1935) in glossing over the plot holes and logic gaps in the original novel. Rock Hudson plays Bob Merrick, a reckless playboy who is indirectly responsible for the death of a kindly and much-beloved doctor. The dead man's wife, Helen Phillips (Jane Wyman), refuses to accept Bob's apologies. When Helen is accidentally blinded, Bob decides to "do right" by her anonymously, illustrating author Douglas' curious edict that the best sort of good deed is the one for which you're not rewarded. In record time, Bob becomes a brilliant physician, and it is he who performs the sight-restoring surgery on Helen. Rather than fade into the woodwork unheralded, Bob is at last forgiven by Helen, who has fallen in love with him during her sightless months without even knowing it. Luxuriously produced by Ross Hunter and directed con brio by Douglas Sirk, Magnificent Obsession was one of the most successful of Universal's big-budget "weepers" of the 1950s. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

Magnificent Obsession (Criterion) (1954)
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7.20 (5 votes)
Magnificent Obsession (Criterion) (Bonus Disc) (1954)
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8.00 (1 votes)

GreenCine Member Reviews

Magnificent Melodrama by Lance February 5, 2012 - 6:02 AM PST
This has to be the quintessential soap opera. A perfect slice of 1950's melodrama with a lot of fun plot twists. Bob Merrick (played by Rock Hudson) is viewed as a supercilious creep who has life changing moments, but finds it most difficult to change his reputation. Jane Wyman earned a Best Actress nomination for her role as Helen Philips, the widow whom Bob Merrick goes to great lengths to do right by. Barbara Rush is gorgeous as Joyce Philips, Helen's step-daughter. She has some great tense moments of her own. The schmalzy music adds nicely to the drama, and the costume and set design is what one would hope for from a 1954 technicolor weepy.

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