Above: "Back with Clark, both of us in strog parts, great reviews." - Joan Crawford on "Possessed"
Cast: Joan Crawford (Marian Martin, aka Mrs. Moreland), Clark Gable, Wallace Ford, Richard 'Skeets' Gallagher, Frank Conroy,
Marjorie White, John Miljan, Clara Blandick.
Paper box factory worker Marian Martin (Joan) wants more out of life than marriage to her small town boyfriend, Al Manning
(Wallace Ford). As she looks through the windows of a stopped railroad car carrying wealthy passengers, she meets Wally Stuart
(Richard Gallagher), a New Yorker who gives her champagne and tells her to look him up. After Al angrily accuses her of impropriety,
Marian leaves and goes to New York. Wally gives her some advice on meeting and keeping wealthy men, which Marian uses to begin
a relationship with his friend Mark Whitney (Clark Gable), a divorced attorney.
A remake of "The Mirage" (1924), starring Florence Vidor and Clive Brook.
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Movie Posters/Lobby Cards etc...
Joan Crawford's Grandson, Casey Lalonde, says...
"In comparison to "Laughing Sinners," "Possessed" is my favorite Crawford/Gable film. Excellent drama, politics and romance make this one incredible film. The smoldering fire between Crawford and Gable is unmistakable. The interesting angle is that this film appears to be the beginning of the lifelong Crawford/Gable love affair. Friends and lovers until Gable's death in 1960, their relationship transcended time. Although paired in several other films, including "Chained," "Love on the Run" and "Strange Cargo," I find "Possessed" to be the finest pairing of these Hollywood legends."
Reviewer, writerdonna7, says...
"In "Possessed," Joan Crawford plays a young woman, Marian Martin, who works in a small town paper factory,
yet has higher ambitions for herself (understandably). Reluctant to marry her hometown suitor Al Manning (Wallace Ford), she
watches an array of people, some obviously wealthy, through the windows of a passing train and decides to seek her fortunes
in New York City. There in New York Martin becomes entranced with lawyer Mark Whitney (Clark Gable) and becomes his mistress.
She is now living in the lap of luxury on Park Avenue attired in stunning Adrian gowns. When Whitney decides to run for governor,
his colleagues urge him to dump "Mrs. Mallard," as Martin has been euphemistically dubbed, but Martin, not wishing
to ruin his chances, decides to make it easier for him to leave her by returning to the unappealing Manning. She tells him
she was only using him and professes to be "common, smelling of sweat and glue" and that she's returning to the
"level that I came from." He slaps her face and our poor suffering Joan leaves the room in tears. Secretly attending
his election rally (in a great Adrian dress with hat at a rakish angle, what else?), Martin sees that a campaign is afoot
to ruin Whitney when confetti is scattered through the crowd with notes saying, "Who is Mrs. Mallard?" Bravely Martin
faces the crowd and identifies herself without apology, telling them that their love was real and not a crime. As applause
rips through the auditorium, she runs away, crying. Whitney follows her and tells her that she is more important to him than
winning or losing the election and they embrace sweetly under the elevated train."
Reviewer, robert.bertrand, says...
""Possessed" was the third film Crawford and Gable did together, and its beautiful. Joan made this picture
a year before "Letty Lynton," and she looks just as stunning in this film as she does is Letty. This picture, like
Chained, has much more romance and drama than the other films the two made, which are more like today's romantic comedies.
Crawford delivers one of her finest performances; Gable wasn't far behind her either. He was still very young and without
the pencil-thin mustache for which he became famous.This picture contains the much-repeated shop girl-makes-good formula that
was so popular for Joan in the early 30's. She plays Marian Martin, a small-town girl who belongs in the city. She works in
a paper box factory in a Podunk town with her clingy, hickish boyfriend Al Manning, played by Wallace Ford."
James R. Quirk in "Photoplay" says... "Lots of luxury; lots of charm; lots of smooth talk about courage and
marriage and what women want--that's Possessed, and you really don't care if the story is old and some of the lines a little
shopworn....It's the best work Joan Crawford has done since "Paid," and Clark Gable--he's everybody's big moment.
If Joan weren't so good, he'd have the picture.
Chris Dashiell on cinescene.com says,... "The Joan Crawford - Clark Gable matchup was bread and butter for Metro in the 30s. This one is about a small-town girl who goes to the city and has an affair with an up-and-coming politician. The first half is quite good. The script (Lenore Coffee, based on an Edgar Selwyn play) has some crackling Depression-era repartee about what it takes to be a success in the big world. There's a beautiful sequence near the beginning where Crawford is looking into the windows of a slowly moving train, the people inside representing everything exciting that she wishes for in her own life. As was common for those days, however, the plot descends to a laughably melodramatic level, with the heroine having to sacrifice herself for the good of her man, and suffer torment for it. Gable's charm is undeniable - at this time his name was still under the title while his co-star got the big letters above it, but this would soon change. I wouldn't call what Crawford does acting exactly - rather, she poses beautifully in her glamorous outfits. She succeeds at what she does best - radiating star charisma. As a whole, not too shabby, if you can ignore the silliness of the film's second half and just enjoy it as a good example of early 30s MGM formula."
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