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DOUGLAS SIRK SERVES 'MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION' W/ ROCK HUDSON

Rock Hudson you like a Hurricane IV Speedboat YEAR: 1954
By far one of the strangest 1950's Technicolor melodramas ever made, MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION put Rock Hudson on the map, and he's the best thing going here...

Especially since his character — a rich, spoiled young man who races a futuristic space shuttle-shaped racing boat — seems not only against the vapid premise, but justifiably fights back when he's blamed for — after suffering a horrible accident — being revived by use of a neighbor's defibrillator that winds absent to help said neighbor who, married to a brooding Jane Wyman, is some kind of New Age Messianic figure before Hollywood pushed such a thing...

Regular Rating: ** Camp Value: ***
This doctor, who winds up dead because of Hudson's near-deathly crash, was a horrible businessman who treated patients for free (a theme later progressed in PAY IT FORWARD), and if he'd lived a week longer would have gone broke in this embarrassingly idealistic yarn that goes over its own pretentious head preaching the glories of avoiding profits at all costs, per se, something that Hollywood preaches but never practices...

But what's truly banal about MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION is there's no obsession and nothing magnificent about it, although as searing melodramas go, it's quite unbelievably addictive as Hudson, serving the main plot, helps a much too old Wyman,who winds up blind — again, because of him — while pretending to be someone else: Initially keeping the secret from angst-ridden daughter Barbara Rush. So if you want to see the 1950's in vibrantly painted-looking colors with locales ranging from a gorgeous lakeside community to bouts of European-like exteriors but mostly interiors, this is your bag. But prepare to bag on it as it simply begs the viewer to do so. Then and now.
The Hurricane IV from Magnificent Obsession take two
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