Douglas Sirk (born Hans Detlef Sierck; 26 April 1897 – 14 January 1987) was a German film director best known for his work in Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s. Sirk started his career in Germany as a stage and screen director, but he left to Hollywood in 1937 because his Jewish wife was persecuted by the Nazis.
In the 1950s, he achieved his greatest commercial success with film melodramas like Imitation of Life, All That Heaven Allows, Written on the Wind, Magnificent Obsession and A Time to Love and a Time to Die. While those films where initially panned by critics as sentimental women’s pictures, they are today widely regarded by film directors, critics and scholars as masterpieces. His work is seen as “critique of the bourgeoisie in general and of 1950s America in particular”, while painting a “compassionate portrait of characters trapped by social conditions”. Beyond the surface of the film, Sirk worked with complex mise en scenes and lush Technicolor colors to subtly underline his message.