Action / Crime / Drama / Film-Noir / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 75%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 3883


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November 07, 2014 at 09:25 PM


Joan Crawford as Louise Howell
Raymond Massey as Dean Graham
Van Heflin as David Sutton
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809.26 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
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1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 48 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 7 / 10

The Ever Classic Crawford.

POSSESSED (1947) is a somewhat underrated Warner Bros.noir. With an excellent central performance from its star Joan Crawford this highly charged drama should be better thought of than it is and deserving of much more exposure. It is one of Crawford's best pictures so this overdue release on DVD is something of an event!

Crawford, fresh from winning an Acadamy Award for "Mildred Pierce" looked as if she was trying for another one here with her well measured portrayal of a neurotic private nurse in the employ of Raymond Massey. But she is unable to deal with the intensity and frustration of her unrequited love for a young engineer (Van Heflin). It all gets too much for her and she finally snaps culminating in a tragic final reel!

Crawford gives one of her great wide-eyed antagonistic performances with fine support from Van Heflin, Raymond Massey (in one of his more amiable roles), the ill-fated Geraldine Brookes (whose previous film for Warners just before this was as Errol Flynn's younger sister in "Cry Wolf") and Stanley Ridges as Crawford's psychiatrist.

From a cracking screenplay by Silvia Richards and Ranald McDougall (who also wrote "Mildred Pierce") the picture turned out to be a splendidly absorbing drama thanks to the smooth and solid direction by Curtiz Bernhardt, the stylish and sharp monochrome cinematography of Joseph Valentine, an effective score by the great Franz Waxman (featuring Schumann's rhapsodic "Carnaval - Opus 9" "played" by Van Heflin) and most of all to the outstanding performance of Miss Joan Crawford.

A nice package - extras include a ten minute featurette on the noir aspects of "Possessed", a good commentary by film historian Drew Casper and an excellent trailer.

Reviewed by lasttimeisaw 7 / 10

POSSESSED shows up Bernhardt's expressionist flourish and boosts a strong showcase for its middle-age conscious star

A Joan Crawford's star-vehicle directed by German émigré Curtis Bernhardt, in POSSESSED (not the namesake film Crawford made in 1931 with Clark Gable), Crawford plays Louise Howell, an erotomaniac possessed by her desire over David Sutton (Heflin), an engineer who cannot reciprocate her with the same obsession.

The film opens with a frazzled Louise roaming in the streets of Los Angeles, unable to utter another word besides "David!", she succumbs to a stupor and is taken to the hospital, under the treatment of Dr. Willard (Ridges), she lets up her stories in flashback from the falling-out between her and David, he considers her as a mere intermezzo in his life, yet she contends to be his theme song (aka, Schumann's Carnaval, Op. 9 piano solo), the music cue plays a significant role in the later stage which compounds Louise's descent into psychosis.

A trained nurse hired to minister to the invalid wife of the wealthy industrialist Dean Graham (Massey, a salt-of-the-earth ilk but also mulish enough to seek the impossible) and after a horrific event crops up near the family's lake house, leaving Dean a widower, Louise choose to stay on with the Graham family in Washington D.C. on the strength of seeing David again, since Dean is his boss.

When David reappears in her life, Louise goes all out to reignite their romance, but the latter is completely out of love with her, humiliated and disillusioned, she accepts Dean's marriage proposal in spite of both twig that she isn't in love with him. Loveless-but-affluent marriage usually functions well for most people, but Louise receives a bolt from the blue when she finds out David and her step-daughter Carol (a debutante Brooks) have become an item, which is the tipping point driving her into further hallucination where reality and unreality has blurred their finitude. Two murderous occurrences are confected, only one transpires to be veridical (the other sending up its blasé staircase confrontation trope), but the ending, nevertheless, ladles out enough psychobabble to augur everything will be fine for the misfortune-ridden Lousie.

Nabbing her second Oscar nomination, Ms. Crawford makes for a barnstorming presence, histrionic occasionally, but speaking of a tarnished soul desperately hanging on her tapering pride, she is magnificent to behold (decked by jewelry and finery if she sees fit), less savory if she has to play the smitten lover against a miscast Hefin, whose thuggish comportment is a far cry from a mathematic engineer, one basically feels apathetic to his character's comeuppance, and wonders what women see in him is so deadly irresistible? That said, POSSESSED shows up Bernhardt's expressionist flourish in his spooky orchestration that torments Louise's sanity and boosts a strong showcase for its middle-age conscious star, who refuses to be sidelined, neither by the man she yens for nor by the ageist and sexist system, into which she has been sinking her teeth for over two decades starting from its bottom rung.

Reviewed by jimjamjonny39 8 / 10

You must love me

I'm impressed with Joans' performance in this movie as she comes across as a very convincing troubled woman... over a man. The sad thing for the character she plays is she is never in control of her emotions when she's around the man that she is possessed about. When he's not there you'd never know that she has a problem. Did you ever love someone or have them believe that they were in love with you but it wasn't reciprocated? Wouldn't you avoid them as much as possible? Joan was 40 in this and I have to say she looked good, mind you I'm older than that now so... I felt for her, she tried to force something that wasn't there. Her psychosis, whether initialised from birth or created through her reasoning at the time, made it impossible for her to understand and accept to be true.

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