I recently re-watched All About Eve, All That Heaven Allows, and The Fly (Cronenberg) on DVD.
Mankiewicz's film comes off somewhat better than the first go round--I wasn't a huge fan the first time I saw it, and I know it's a classic and full of great lines, and I see now that it's not a shallow film, that the whole Addison DeWitt angle especially gives it some substantial resonance. But I just haven't been able to jump aboard 100%. Don't ask me why, I'm not certain I could give you a rational reason. Or even a coherent irrational one. Yet.
All That Heaven Allows shows its contours in more definite light now that Sirk isn't new to me, now that I'm aware of the varying mass responses to his work. Without doing the proper research, I would suggest that even though 1950s housewives and other viewers, including critics, weren't excavating deep critical meanings, the level of critique/distanciation in Sirk's women's pictures had to be apparent. Perhaps the films were dismissed as fluff not because they were considered no better than reactionary bourgeois fantasies (something that might apply to Magnificent Obsession, but not There's Always Tomorrow or All That Heaven Allows) but because of their very real narrative "limitations"--I'd hypothesize that it was not because the viewers didn't get the films but because the hierarchical valuation of these films prioritized clear narrative lines and devalued their self-evidently stunning mise-en-scène, lighting and coloration, their complex and rich visual universes. (A good research question would be--and please if you know if this been done, point me in its direction!--whether contemporary viewers & reviewers of Sirk's films ever singled some of them out in terms of the way they felt as opposed to equally "inane" women's pictures of the era.) That said, I don't think Sirk is subversive (which is something I used to think). Critical, yes; subversive, no. As for the self-aware comedy of the films, i.e., a reading of them as sly parodies of the melodramas they also were ... well, yes, that's there, but I think it was probably there in a lot of other (less aesthetically rich) films, and probably people were picking up on it all along, but not prioritizing it. Those are my raw $0.02.
I watched The Fly as a kid, with my parents, and though I think I only saw it that once, a lot of the scenes played back as eerily familiar. (Also, it's such a retread of some of Videodrome's themes!) I've nothing much I want to say about the film; or rather, nothing much I want to say here. But I'm struck by the thought that in a lot of cases 1980s films might be preferable on VHS rather than DVD, whose clear digital lines neither compensate for a good 35mm print nor align with what the filmmakers themselves were using as a comparison/substitute back in those old dinosaur days.
Now go watch "Sensual Seduction" if you haven't seen it already. This is one of my favorite music videos ever, I think. After one or two viewings, try it with the sound off.