Sirk's second ostensible triangle drama with Stanwyck is, like the earlier All I Desire, a brilliant example of his mastery of lacerating irony. In demolishing the social fantasy of the 'happy home', the embodiment of the complacent surface values of '50s America, Sirk simultaneously exposes its tragic pervasiveness. Toy manufacturer MacMurray's alienation and isolation from his savagely conformist household is marked immediately by his blatant identification with his invention, Rex the Walkie-Talkie Robot. Yet when Stanwyck returns from his past, conventionally cast as the 'designing woman' (and at one point wearing a triangle-patterned dress!), it eventually transpires that all she has to offer him is a twenty-year-old romantic fantasy of (re-)establishing that same conformist model. Her generically-correct fairytale 'sacrifice' of self to the sanctity of the family, and the sanctioned role of the independent woman, merely intensifies the romantic agony of both dreamer-victims. Tomorrow never comes.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Bernard C Schoenfeld|