"Don't let anyone tell you it's easy to play a madwomen, particularly a psychotic."
~Joan Crawford on her role in "Possessed."
Cast: Joan Crawford~Van Heflin~Raymond Massey~Geraldine Brooks~Stanley Ridges~John Ridgely~Moroni Olsen~Erskine Sanford~Gerald
Perreau~Isabel Withers~Lisa Golm~Douglas Kennedy~Monte Blue~Don McGuire~Rory Mallinson~Clifton Young~Griff Barnett.
Director: Curtis Bernhardt
Producer: Jerry Wald
Costumes by Adrian
Box Office Figures for "Possessed":
Top Grossing Film Position: #59 out of #75
Gross Rentals: $2,300,000.
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below.
Thank you for your review on this film.
Review: Quite possibly Joan's finest hour. Van Heflin's character doesn't really get much done in this movie and actually
gets his ass shot off for his troubles, but he does get Joan Crawford to disintegrate beautifully from a healthy, emotionally
needy nurse to a deranged rich dame that imagines things and suffers from enormous mood swings. If it's one thing we all know,
it's that crazy people can be extremely entertaining, but be extremely cautious if you decide to tell them to leave you alone!
And Joanie delivers in this department in this movie, big time! The plot has some troubles, though - and implausible incidents
frequently occur. Everything starts with with a very wan-looking Louise wandering around town looking for David. She stops
random men on the street and thinks they are this David guy and eventually passes out on a diner. She gets hauled off to a
mental hospital and the doctors shoot her up with some magic truth serum, and the flashback-driven plot is set in motion.
Back in the past David finally told her to get a life of her own so she went back to being a nurse to this nasty rich hag
and it just so happens that this woman's husband knows David. This is how David gets hooked up with this tour of duty in The
Great White North leaving Louise and her mean old patient. But the patient isn't mean for long and before you know it, they're
pulling her out of a lake, and the police decides it was suicide. Louise eventually marries the widower (even if she doesn't
love him) and gets the misguided notion that she killed that rich bitch. She had her day off at the time when his wife departured
from life as we know it, so her husband knows she's innocent. Louise is relieved to hear this and they take a trip back to
the home where the first wife suicided so that they can relax and so that Louise's stress levels can go down. Sounds like
that's exactly what she needs! Louise of course never gets better(crazy people never do, you know) and things play out to
their tragic conclusion. Joan does a terrific job in this movie. She is able to move convincingly along the spectrum of emotions
and actions that someone who is going crazy might have to endure. Sometimes she seemsfine, sometimes angry, sometimes inconsolably
sad, and sometimes all three of these things within moments of each other. The movie's message is clear, if mental illness
is not treated, you(or in this case, David) are in dire straits. Them crazy folks'll kill you if you leave them to their own
devices! Joanie really shines in this part and is believable in all of her transitions throughout the entire picture. 4 out
of 4 stars, easy!
Stars: 4 stars
Review: I think that it must have been quite hard to play someone whose kinda insane, when your not it real life. A very
good movie. If I was like Louise, I would be kinda freaked out a little after the therapy. When you look back at what you
where like and plus Joan's big lovely eyes help her more than any other actress trying to play that part eg: Marilyn Monroe,
maybe Bette Davis also could of played that part but I think Joan was the best choice.
"Possessed" begins with a pale, disoriented woman (Joan Crawford) in a plain, but impeccably cut black dress,
wandering the streets of Los Angeles, murmuring the name "David." This is film noir and the wonderful angles and
black and white cinematography, the German expressionism, all lend to the off kilter feeling of the story which describes
Crawford's mental state. The woman winds up in a hospital where her story emerges through flashbacks.
Apparently Louise Howell (Crawford) was having an affair with bachelor David Sutton (Van Heflin), but although Howell
is becoming increasingly fervently attached, Sutton is ready to cut the cord. This rejection sends Howell over the edge. As
she races back from his cottage by the sea, we learn that she is a private nurse for the ill wife of wealthy Dean Graham (Raymond
Massey) and that the delusional Mrs. Graham believes Nurse Howell is having an affair with her husband. When Mrs. Graham is
found drowned in an apparent suicide, Mr. Graham ultimately makes known his growing love for Nurse Howell and begs her to
marry him. Howell's heart lies elsewhere, but he convinces her to give the marriage a go. Initially Graham's daughter Carol
(Geraldine Brooks) rejects Howell, believing her responsible for her mother's death although Howell insists that Mrs. Graham
was "more ill" than Carol realized. (Wonderful touch since Howell is "more ill" than she realizes). Eventually
Carol accepts Howell, but the plot thickens when Carol begins a relationship with Sutton which becomes serious and threatens
Joan Crawford gives a powerhouse performance in "Possessed," making her emotional state palpable and sympathetic,
and is aided by a truly crackerjack script with intricate twists, turns and ironies. Both Howell and Sutton are self-absorbed
characters and are matched wonderfully in this drama. Brooks as Carol also has a fascinating duality to her personality like
Ann Blyth in "Mildred Pierce," able to appear sweet and almost powerfully viperish as the plot demands. At times,
like Howell, it's impossible to discern what is real and what is delusional as the drama enfolds. There is a bit of Freudian
psychobabble in the hospital scenes, but Freudian analysis had exploded in the 1940's.
One note. DON'T READ FURTHER if you haven't seen the film. I hated David. He deserved to die. When he starts mocking Louise
when she pulls out that gun and she fires after enduring his callous humiliation and cocky disregard throughout most of the
film (okay, so she was as unstable as the Andreas fault, but he could've been a little less nasty), it was a victory for anyone
who has ever been cast aside in a love affair. Didn't think she'd do it, did ya, David? Well, Joan Crawford doesn't take things