Above: Two legends; Henry Fonda and Joan Crawford on the set of "Daisy Kenyon."
"Daisy Kenyon" 1947
Cast: Joan Crawford~Dana Andrews~Henry Fonda~Ruth Warwick~Martha Stewart~Peggy Ann Garner~Connie Marshell~Nicholas Joy~Art
Baker~Robert Karnes~John Davidson~Victoria Horne~Charles Meredith~Roy Roberts~Griff Barnett.
Produced and Directed by: Otto Preminger
Costumes by Charles LeMarie
Box Office Figures for "Daisy Kenyon":
Top Grossing Film Position: #71 out of #93
Gross Rentals: $1,750,000.
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Stars: Three and a half stars.
Review: Although "Daisy Kenyon" might appear to be a "slight" film, essentially concerned with a love
triangle, it is distinguished by intelligently drawn, complex characters, particularly that of the title woman; fine performances;
and a fascinating portrait of 1940's cocktail lounge sophistication and relationships. Joan Crawford is excellent in the
titular role, a magazine illustrator in New York City who is juggling two men and unfulfilled. One is Dan O' Mara (Dana Andrews),
an unhappily married attorney who seems to care for Daisy and respect her on some level, but who will never offer her security
or commitment. Although Crawford and Andrews look good together and appear suited on a superficial basis, one doesn't want
to see Crawford wind up with this man who -- as is so typical of this type of do-gooder -- sees fit to go to bat for the world's
unfortunate (defending a Japanese decorated veteran whose farm was legally stolen after World War II, a politically unpopular
victim) as he neglects his own wife and family. His wife Lucille (Ruth Warrick) is portrayed -- offensively, to my mind --
as a shrew as if she is not supposed to object to his coldness or infidelities or is somehow to blame for them. In one scene,
she picks up the extension when he is on the phone with Daisy and interrupts them. He grabs the phone from her and in a stroke
of overt emotional abuse, tells her he could kill her, a scene witnessed by his teary youngest daughter who is herself being
abused by the mother. An interesting subplot: pain and abuse trickle down.
The other man in Daisy's life is mild-mannered Peter Lapham (Henry Fonda), a decorated Army officer and former Yacht designer.
He is smitten with Daisy in a puppy dog, essentially passive way, since his heart still belongs to the wife he lost five
years ago and not whole-heartedly to Daisy. Hanging his head, he tells her at 3 a.m. when dropping her off from a date,"
I love you." She is startled and doesn't quite believe it or return it.
The situations might be familiar, but the script and dialogue is not predictable and is realistic. When Andrews asks
Daisy if Peter made her happier than he did, she tells him, "That's a very stupid question. You never used to be stupid."
And later: "No one replaces anyone." Frequently the weather is troubled here -- either storming or snowing --
perhaps reflecting the tumultuous psyche of the characters. Kenyon attempts to be alone, running to a cabin in the woods,
but the two men tail her for a final confrontation in which she must choose. She attempts to flee in her car, but has an
accident in the snow and must return on foot. Fate pulls her back.
An interesting, fine film with superb performances from the three leads. A scene at the Stork Club features John Garfield
and Walter Winchell. Peggy Anne Garner plays one of Dan's daughters.