Douglas Sirk is one of the most neglected directors in American cinema. This book aims to rectify that and, through a survey of his career, to re-establish Sirk as one of the great stylists of Hollywood cinema.In 1937 Sirk left Germany, after a successful career in theatre and film, and came to Hollywood. From 1942 to 1958 he directed some 30 films, the most famous of which were a series of lush melodramas in the '50s, which were seen at the time as vehicles for stars such as Rock Hudson and Lana Turner. These films are now seen as perceptive dissections of the repressive conventions underlying American life, revealing a disintegrating society - a society of pretence and illusion, befogged by alcohol. Sirk's films are many-layered, the style transcending the melodrama and transforming the material into works of art.