Meticulously assembled from film clips, news footage and interviews with former co-stars and intimates, Stephen Kijak’s documentary All That Heaven Allowed is everything you already knew about the Hollywood actor Rock Hudson and probably a little more.
It’s not the first film to explore Hudson’s life. Mark Rappaport’s Rock Hudson’s Home Movies came out in 1992 – seven years after its subject’s AIDS-related death, aged 59 – and Kijak’s film owes that one a stylistic debt (which he credits), most obviously in the way it selectively edits footage from Hudson’s films to highlight the contradictions between the actor’s public persona and private life.
That said, Kijak’s makes for an informative and ultimately moving account of Hudson’s life and times and a gripping study of the Hollywood machine in action.
There is no ‘Rock Hudson’ at the start of the film. Rather, there is a tall, square-jawed, ex-Navy kid by the name of Roy Scherer Jr,...