Reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson, in his breakthrough role) crashes his speedboat, requiring emergency attention from the town's only resuscitator-at the very moment that beloved local Dr. Phillips has a heart attack and dies waiting for the life-saving device. Thus begins one of Douglas Sirk's most flamboyant master classes in melodrama, a delirious Technicolor mix of the sudsy and the spiritual in which Bob and the doctor's widow, Helen (Jane Wyman), find themselves inextricably linked to one another amid a series of increasingly wild twists, turns, trials, and tribulations. For this release, Criterion also presents John M. Stahl's 1935 film version of the Lloyd C. Douglas novel, starring Irene Dunne and Robert Taylor.
Audio commentary featuring film scholar Thomas Doherty
Magnificent Obsession (1935, 102 minutes): a new digital transfer of John M. Stahl's complete earlier version of the film
Douglas Sirk: From UFA to Hollywood (1991): a rare 80-minute documentary by German filmmaker Eckhart Schmidt in which Sirk reflects upon his career
Video interviews with filmmakers Allison Anders and Kathryn Bigelow, paying tribute to Sirk