Blu-ray Release: Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Blu-ray Release Date: Aug. 20, 2019
Price: Blu-ray $27.99
Studio: Criterion

In Douglas Sirk’s 1954 melodrama Magnificent Obsession, reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Seconds‘s Rock Hudson, in his breakthrough role) crashes his speedboat, requiring emergency attention from the town’s only resuscitator-at the very moment that a beloved local doctor has a heart attack and dies waiting for the lifesaving device.

Thus begins one of Sirk’s most flamboyant master classes in melodrama, a delirious Technicolor mix of the sudsy and the spiritual in which Bob and the doctor’s widow, Helen (Jane Wyman, All That Heaven Allows), find themselves inextricably linked amid a series of increasingly wild twists, turns, trials, and tribulations.

Criterion’s new Blu-ray edition of the film (an adaptation of Lloyd Douglas’s novel, which was made previously in 1934) contains the following:

* High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
* Audio commentary from 2008 featuring film scholar Thomas Doherty
* Magnificent Obsession, John M. Stahl’s 1935 adaptation of the same novel, newly restored
* From UFA to Hollywood: Douglas Sirk Remembers (1991), a documentary by German filmmaker Eckhart Schmidt
* Interviews from 2008 with filmmakers Allison Anders and Kathryn Bigelow, in which they pay tribute to Sirk
* Theatrical trailer
* An essay by critic Geoffrey O’Brien
Buy or Rent Magnificent Obsession

About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.