We all know Rock Hudson as one of the seminal actors of his generation. Starring in countless movies and television shows, he was often perceived as a charming good guy who knew just how to make women fall for him. However, his personal life couldn’t be farther from his typical roles. Due to Hollywood’s intense bigotry and homophobia, Hudson was unable to live as an out gay man — his sexuality was only revealed after his death from AIDS-related complications in 1985. We know of his Hollywood persona and his tragic death, but what about everything else in between?
Acclaimed documentarian Stephen Kijak helms this portrait of Hudson’s life both on and off the screen. Piecing together his story using archival footage and testimonies from some of his closest friends, Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed is a tribute to a trailblazer in LGBTQ+ media that was taken from us too soon. It also confronts the systems that kept him closeted for so many years, asking if progress in Hollywood for queer representation has truly been made.––Frederic Boyer