“Magnificent Obsession” (1954)

September 2019

Douglas Sirk’s Extreme Melodrama Gets the Criterion BD Treatment

The Criterion Collection 457
Format: Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 987
Format: Blu-ray

Overall Enjoyment

Picture Quality

Sound Quality


Magnificent Obsession was the first book written by minister Lloyd C. Douglas (1877-1951), in 1929. Douglas would go on to write many other books, including The Robe (1942), usually considered his best. Universal Pictures acquired the film rights to Magnificent Obsession, and in 1935 John M. Stahl directed a black-and-white version, starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor, that received good notices. A second film version, this one in Technicolor and starring Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman, was directed in 1954 by Douglas Sirk, king of the 1950s Hollywood “weepies.” Most people consider the later version to be the better of the two, but I’m not one of them. Fortunately, this two-disc set contains both versions.

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