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Ooh, I love the beginning of this film. So fatalistic and such a great setup. No dialogues and yet the perfect introduction to all 4 central characters and then the title song that plays in the background as the wind blows over the pages of the calendar and provides a great segue to the flashback. I love how big and ostentatious everything about this film is. The vibrant colors, the opulence of the Stalk household, the heightened emotions so that every romance in the story is heartbreaking and tragic and even the acting. I am still wondering about Dorothy Malone’s performance.. on the one hand, it feels too over-the-top and hammy but I also wonder if it’s not just deliberate so as to match the tone of the movie. And, why did I think that I didn’t like Rock Hudson? Anyway, he is pretty good in this.

Love the look of the movie and the way the frames are composed. Like the scene I used for the screenshot above. We see Kyle and Lucy in the frame with Mitch’s reflection standing between the two of them. In the next scene, Kyle approaches Lucy blocking Mitch’s reflection out of the shot. Perfect. Similarly, later in the film when Kyle is drunk again after a long interval and invites Lucy and Mitch to dinner, all three of them are cramped really tightly together foreshadowing the plot.

I love the way Sirk doesn’t hold back any of the plot from us. The opening sequence pretty much tells us where the film is going and right from the start, the triangular nature of the relationship is obvious. What this lets us do is to really focus on the psychology of the characters and their relationships.

So far Sirk is 2 out of 2 for me. I really need to watch more of his films.

Grade: B+

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