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"Harriet Craig was all right. Formula, but not too bad.
At least I played a woman with which a portion of the audience could identify with." - Joan Crawford

"Harriet Craig"

This film page is dedicated to Joan fan, friend, fellow San Franciscan and photographer extraordinaire - Darwin Bell.

Cast: Joan Crawford (as Harriet Craig), Wendell Corey, Lucille Watson~Allyn Joslyn, William Bishop, K.T. Stevens, Viola Roache, Raymond Greenleaf, Ellen Corby, Fiona O'Shiel, Patriic Mitchell, Virginia Brissac, Katherine Warren, Douglas Wood, Kathryn Card, Charles Evans, Mira McKinney.


Release date - November 2, 1950 (New York Opening).

Running time - 93-94 minutes

Directed by - Vincent Sherman

Writing Credits - Ann Froelich and James Gunn (screenplay),
George Kelly (for the play, Craig's Wife)

Producer - William Dozier

Cinematographer - Joseph Walker

Costumes - Sheila O'Brien

Studio - Columbia Pictures

Production Dates - April 30 thru May 23, 1950

Working Title - Lady of the House

Production Code: D-1224

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Movie Synopsis

Cold-hearted Harriet Craig (Joan) holds more regard for her home and its possessions than she does for any person in her life. Among those she treats like household objects are her kind husband Walter (Wendell Corey), whom she has lied to about her inability to have children; her cousin Clare (K. T. Stevens), whom she treats like a secretary; and her servants whom she treats like slaves.

Joan's public perception of being a clean freak, a control freak, a bitch, has spilled over into her role as Harriet Craig. The viewer gets the sense that they're watching the "real Joan" here, or maybe it's just her brilliant performance that convinces us of that. Her role as Harriet Craig mirrors the myth of the real life Joan Crawford and that's what makes the film bigger and better, each and every time.

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Interesting Trivia

A remake of the 1936 film, "Craig's Wife,"Continuity: When Walter sits up in bed, he puts his slipper on his right foot. In a subsequent shot when Harriet moves closer to the bathroom, he puts the same slipper on the same foot.

Movie Mistakes:

Continuity: When Walter sits up in bed, he puts his slipper on his right foot. In a subsequent shot when Harriet moves closer to the bathroom, he puts the same slipper on the same foot.

Continuity: Throughout the movie, there are no locks on the door of the Craig house. During the final scene, when Harriet gives her final speech, a lock can be seen above the doorknob.

Top Grossing Film Position: Didn't list that year.

Total Box Office Receipts: Less than one million dollars.

Photos

Click on images below to see a larger view.

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Movie Posters/Lobby Cards etc...

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Fan Reviews/Comments

Reviewer, Bjorn Palenius, says...

This is my favorite Joan Crawford movie! She's bitchy and nasty, and very convincing as Harriet Craig! I have seen it about 10 times, and never get tired of it! Every time you see it again, you delight in the excellent script and the great casting! See it, you'll love it!

Stars: 4 stars!

Reviewer, beyondtheforest, says...

The line above is from the original advertising art, and it conveys the theme of HARRIET CRAIG very well. I have an issue with reviewers who are constantly comparing characters on the screen with the actors who portray them. Harriet Craig was a character, and that is all. There are parallels between the lives of the character and Joan Crawford herself, but one should not go so far as to say they are the same! Joan Crawford is a woman of many mysteries. Every account you could possibly read about her life is full of contradictions; was she good or was she bad, was the ruthless and cruel or was she generous and kind? She was probably all of these things and, like Harriet Craig, a complicated, non-conventional, and independent woman at war with the world.

This is where the comparison ends. The character in the film is a compulsive liar and manipulator. Harriet Craig lies about anything and everything in the spider's web she builds around her. Joan Crawford's performance is fierce and chilling in its complexity. This is a woman of astounding talent, playing a character worthy of that talent. This is one of only a handful of roles Crawford ever played that allowed her to really act, which she does so well you will forget all about those other "great" actresses which usually claim all the credit.

If 1950 was not such a tough year, I'm convinced Joan would have received an Oscar nomination for the performance. The film itself was worthy of a nomination and, as the advertising art claimed, was "one of the five best pictures of the year." I think it is comparable in quality to ALL ABOUT EVE and SUNSET BLVD., and certainly Crawford's performance is on par with the leads in those films, and one of the best of her career! One last final note: a feminist take on HARRIET CRAIG may emphasize that Harriet was just a woman trying to survive the sexist times...but Wendell Corey was such a good and nice husband, believing in their equality, that I don't buy it. Harriet was a woman hurt by her times and unfortunately taking out her mistrust of men on her innocent and good husband, as well as others around her. Harriet was, in the end, a victim of her own prejudice, and selfish, compulsive lies.


Stars: 4 stars!

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Other Reviews

Otis L. Guernsey, Jr. of the New York Herald Tribune had this to say, "Joan Crawford does a prime job of putting over the selfish title-character, equipping it with enough sock to cloak the obviousness that motivates the dramatics. Over the years, plot has lost freshness, but script up-dating, the strong playing, and direction add a sheen that keeps it interesting."

Variety said, "Joan Crawford does a prime job of putting over the selfish title-character, equipping it with enough sock to cloak the obviousness that motivates the dramatics. Over the years, plot has lost freshness, but script up-dating, the strong playing, and direction add a sheen that keeps it interesting."

The Austin Chronicle said, "As the epitome of every neurotic, deeply disturbed female that Joan ever portrayed, Harriet Craig is Joan with a capital J. Taking the role in her mouth and shaking it into submission, she is playing, ultimately, another facet of Joan herself. But what Joan film role didn't become Joan herself -- either before or after filming? In a case of Joan's art imitating her life, as well as her life imitating her art, Harriet provides Joan with yet one more of those peculiar roles -- roles which must have been written with only Joan in mind, since it would be difficult to imagine any other actress in this role."

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.

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