Friday, September 29, 2023

‘Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed’ Review: Living a Double Life

Rock Hudson in 1954. In the documentary “Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed,” lovers, co-stars and friends give details on the closeted actor’s biography.Credit…HBO

NYTimes reports – “Rock Hudson’s Home Movies,” the director Mark Rappaport’s landmark 1992 video essay about the life and death of the famous gay actor, is a playful, provocative and singular meditation on celebrity, homosexuality and the nature of truth onscreen. Through a combination of archival footage from Hudson’s filmography and invented narration by an actor playing Hudson, the movie offers a speculative, pseudobiographical portrait of Hudson’s innermost thoughts, using what we know about him now to imagine what he might have been thinking then.

More than 30 years later, Stephen Kijak’s “Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed” is a more straightforward account of Hudson’s life and death, centering on the details of his biography and the testimony of those who knew him. We hear from lovers, co-stars and friends about how hard it was for Hudson to live as a closeted gay man in Hollywood in the 1950s and ’60s while representing the movie industry’s platonic ideal of the straight romantic lead, forced by circumstance to live a double life and publicly repress his true desires and needs.

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