Friday, September 29th, 2023

Queerguru reviews ROCK HUDSON : All That Heaven Allowed


Filmmaker Stephen Kijak’s excellent documentary on Hollywood heartthrob Rock Hudson should serve as a blueprint for other documentaries that focus on a subject’s very private life.  His finely balanced portrayal of one of Hollywood’s great leading men is a respectful account of the star’s closeted public life without resorting to the usual negative sensationalism.

The undeniably handsome Hudson’s homosexuality was known to only a mere handful of movie folk, but despite the pressure to keep closeted in public, it was interesting to see footage of the movie star’s all-male pool parties.  It showed how despite his arranged marriage to secretary Phyllis Gates he still managed to play the field, mainly with equally handsome men. His film acting won him a Best Actor OSCAR Nomination for his role in Giant, but his sheer popularity won him 5 Golden Globe Awards for the World’s  Male Film Favorite.


Full credit to director Stephen Kijack ( and ) for the way he handled the news of Hudson’s being diagnosed with HIV.  It is so refreshing to see a storyline like this treated with respect and without a hint of sensationalism. Details of Hudson’s treatment to try to combat the disease shed light on how futile it was even for people like him with unlimited resources.  His death brought AIDS out of the shadows for the general public with the revelation that a major Hollywood star was gay and had the disease.

His final words were made public at an AIDS Fundraiser in Hollywood and were read by Burt LancasterI am not happy that I am sick; I am not happy that I have AIDS,” said Lancaster, reading Hudson’s words to a dead-silent crowd. “But if that is helping others, I can, at least, know that my own misfortune has had some positive worth.”

Hudson’s death unwittingly helped bring the whole subject of AIDS into the public domain, and for that, we are all eternally grateful.


The film is now screening on HBO 



P.S. You may like to check out QUEERGURU’S interview with filmmaker Stephen Kijak https://queerguru.com/filmmaker-stephen-hijak-talks-about-his-unmissable-doc-rock-hudson-all-that-heaven-allowed/


Review : Roger Walker-Dack

Editor in Chief : Queerguru 
Member of G.A.L.E.C.A. (Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association) and NLGJA The Association of LGBT 
Journalists. and The Online Film Critics Society. Ex Contributing Editor The Gay Uk &Contributor Edge Media 
Former CEO and Menswear Designer of  Roger Dack Ltd in the UK    
one of the hardest-working journalists in the business' Michael Goff of Towleroad

Posted by queerguru  at  11:08

Genres:  documentary

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