Review

  • Barbara Stanwyck as a fading cabaret actress is suddenly summoned by her daughter home to the small privincial town life she deserted many years ago for a family reunion with the husband and two other children she left so long ago for private reasons that gave her no choice. She doesn't want to go, but it's her youngest daughter graduating, so she feels she must, and of course meets with all kinds of traumas as she is confronted with old painful memories, especially as her former husband hasn't been expecting her, she comes as an overwhelming surprise, and her oldest daughter refuses to have anything to do with her.

    So this is an extremely sensitive situation, but Douglas Sirk handles it perfectly with care, and so does Barbara Stanwyck and her husband Richard Carlson. It's a psychological drama prying into all kinds of family problems of relationships, but it is beautifully well done. Just for security, Douglas Sirk has included some Chopin and Liszt and Shakespeare and even a recital of Robert Browning, which is something of a highlight. It's Barbara Stanwyck's film, you will melt at all those crises you will face with her, but the only way out is as usual the way through, and there is always another side waiting for you, especially in Douglas Sirk films.