All I Desire

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All I Desire
All I Desire FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Douglas Sirk
Produced by Ross Hunter
Written by Carol Ryrie Brink (novel)
Robert Blees
James Gunn
Gina Kaus
Starring Barbara Stanwyck
Richard Carlson
Distributed by Universal-International
Release dates
  • June 25, 1953 (1953-06-25)
Running time
79 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $1.2 million (US)[1]

All I Desire is a 1953 drama film directed by Douglas Sirk, starring Barbara Stanwyck as an actress who returns to visit her husband and children after having run off years before. It is based on the novel Stopover by Carol Ryrie Brink.


Naomi Murdoch abandons her husband and children in Wisconsin, setting off to become an actress and also to flee from an aggressive former suitor, Dutch Heineman. She decides to return 10 years later at the invitation of daughter Lily, who is appearing in a school play and about to graduate.

Lily is delighted, as are townspeople who mistakenly believe Naomi has become a great success on stage. But her schoolteacher husband Henry is unsure how he feels about Naomi being back, as is daughter Joyce, still bitter about her mother's long absence.

At the school play, Dutch can't take his eyes off Naomi. A teacher, Sara Harper, now loves Henry but can tell he still has feelings for his long-absent wife.

Dutch turns up when Naomi goes for a horseback ride with Joyce and boyfriend Russ. Joyce and her boyfriend leave Naomi by the lake and Dutch shows up tries to embrace Naomi. Naomi refuses his advances and rides home alone. Henry and Naomi reconcile. But Dutch signals that he wants her to meet him at the lake. Naomi goes to tell Dutch that he must leave her alone because she is going to stay with Henry. Dutch says he has been to good to her and tries force himself on her to fend him off, Naomi uses a whip, and struggles with him. During the struggle Dutch's Rifle falls and Dutch is shot Naomi's son Ted helps take Dutch to a doctor, he fears his mother might have had a romantic rendezvous arranged with Dutch that day.

Everyone agrees it would be better if Naomi went away. Lily wants to go along, in order to become a famed actress like her mother, whereupon Naomi confesses that her career has actually been a failure. Henry can see from Dutch's wounds that Naomi wanted nothing more to do with him. He prevents Naomi from leaving, wanting to give their life together another try.

The director, Douglas Sirk, originally shot a darker, sadder ending, but the producer, Ross Hunter, substituted a happier one [2]



  1. ^ 'The Top Box Office Hits of 1953', Variety, January 13, 1954
  2. ^ The Barbara Stanwyck Collection, Universal Backlot Series, 2010

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