Rock Hudson’s new film, “Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed,” has recently debuted an emotional trailer on HBO. Hudson became one of the first prominent celebrities to pass away due to complications from an AIDS-related illness. The documentary will put a spotlight on his life.
Who Was Rock Hudson?
Rock Hudson was an American actor who gained fame during the 1950s and 1960s. Born as Roy Harold Scherer Jr. on November 17, 1925, in Winnetka, Illinois, Hudson started his career in Hollywood as a contract player for Universal Pictures. He rose to prominence for his good looks, charm, and talent, becoming one of the most popular leading men of his time.
Despite his successful acting career, Hudson lived a closeted life as a gay man during a time when homosexuality was not widely accepted. In 1985, Hudson publicly revealed that he was diagnosed with AIDS, becoming one of the first prominent figures to disclose his condition. His disclosure helped raise awareness about the disease and contributed to reducing the stigma surrounding AIDS.
The Rock Hudson Documentary and What To Expect
This documentary is said to present Rock Hudson as a man living a double life. On the one hand, a manufactured embodiment of heterosexuality and romantic masculinity. On the other hand, a gay man diagnosed with AIDS.
The film showcases Hudson’s cinematic legacy (where he typically portrayed a handsome, all-American hero and was frequently paired with actresses such as Doris Day and Gina Lollobrigida) and also examine how the actor helped shift the perception of AIDS when he announced he was HIV positive in 1985 – only months before he passed away at the age of 59. The intent of the movie is not to frame the actor’s life as a tragedy but rather to show how an entire generation could not consider homosexuality a valid option.
The documentary includes several interviews. For instance, Hudson’s former romantic partners explain how they were not allowed to be pictured together and risk letting the public know the actor was gay.
The trailer, which aired in early June, describes Rock Hudson as “the last of those manufactured stars, where every aspect of what we think to be their private life has been built by other people.” “It wasn’t that long ago when it was really hard to be gay,” director Stephen Kijak explained in a New York Times interview. “Publicly, your life would be ruined.”
All That Heaven Allowed is produced by HBO, Altitude Film Entertainment, Berlanti Schechter Films, and Dog Star Films. It’s directed by Stephen Kijak (who was responsible for 2019’s “Sid & Judy”, a documentary about Judy Garland) and produced by Will Clarke, George Chignell, Carolyne Jurriaans, Sarah Schechter, and Greg Berlanti.
“Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed” will premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Festival (New York) on Sunday, June 11. That same month, it will also be screened at Frameline47, an LGBTQ+ San Francisco film festival.
You can watch the trailer here.