Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Joan Crawford as Harriet Craig
HARRIET CRAIG (1950). Director: Vincent Sherman.

"I don't like trains. I don't like the feeling of being rushed along in the darkness. Having no control. Having my life completely in someone else's hands" -- Harriet Craig.

This remake of Craig's Wife is actually the third film version of George Kelly's play, which was first made as a silent. In this loose adaptation, Joan Crawford plays Harriet Craig, who likes order and neatness and everything in its place, including her husband, Walter (Wendell Corey of The Big Knife). She and her mother were abandoned by her father, and she needs to be in total control of her life and everyone else's, including her niece, Clare's (K. T. Stevens), who has lived with her and Walter for many years, and whose relationship with Wes (William Bishop of It's a Great Life) she tries to destroy. This version eliminates the character of Walter's aunt, and provides an even stronger motive for Walter's walking out on his wife. Crawford and Corey give very good performances, and the supporting cast, including Lucile Watson, Stevens, Ellen Corby, and Viola Roache, is notable.

Verdict: Crawford in dragon lady mode. ***.

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