Directed by Douglas Sirk and produced by Ross Hunter, All I Desire stars Barbara Stanwyck as a stage actress who returns to the small town and family she abandoned. Ten years ago, a turn-of-the-century scandal forced Naomi Murdoch (Stanwyck) to desert her husband (Richard Carlson) and their children for a stage career. Now, returning to their small Wisconsin town to see her daughter in a play, she has hopes of reconciliation. Her appearance is a shock and the town is curious but unforgiving. Her husband, a high school principal, is involved with one of his teachers (Maureen O'Sullivan) and her children have mixed feelings about her. After an unexpected turn of events leads to another scandal, Naomi's hopes of starting over are suddenly in jeopardy.