Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move from Ohio to New York in the hopes of building their careers. Ruth wants to get a job as a writer, while Eileen hopes to succeed on the stage. The two ... See full summary »
Sergeant Victor comes to the French Foreign Legion after taking the blame for his brother's crime. Cigarette falls in love with him though Major Doyle is in love with her. Doyle sends ... See full summary »
Bob is a struggling artist who paints for his own amusement. Julie is a rich society girl. When they meet, it is cute and they are soon married. Living in a small apartment with the ... See full summary »
A very interesting film! I saw it at a university's film archive; to my knowledge, it is not often screened on cable or broadcast TV.
For Rosalind Russell fans, the film is quite a change of pace from those who may know her best from the screwball comedy "His Girl Friday." She's very good in "Craig's Wife," (as is the supporting cast) and her performance gives you an appreciation for her range as an actress.
I say the film addresses a timeless American theme, which is the tension between American culture's focus on materialism (an issue even way back in the 1930's, clearly) versus a person's more human needs, such as emotional intimacy. The character of Harriet Craig clearly resists any show of vulnerability and, as the film progresses, increasingly reveals a depth of coldness that's also chilling for the audience to witness, and is mirrored in the uneasiness the supporting characters display as they interact with her.
What gives the film its lasting impression is that there are almost certainly many of us today who have met someone like the character. Furthermore, in the present day, we often see similar themes (love vs. money) played out in American films.
The theme was a common one, I think, in the 1930's, partly because the Depression and its aftermath made it hard for anyone (particularly women, for whom few career opportunities were available, let alone accepted) to ignore the economic expediency and comfort that finding a wealthy husband could afford. In that era, the hardships that may have accompanied being a romantic and marrying for love (without regard for money) were not trivial.
For a comic take on this same thematic vein, catch "Midnight" with Claudette Colbert, which is a delightful movie that I think screens fairly often on the AMC (American Movie Classics) cable channel. Less from a money-based viewpoint, but very much from an emotional standpoint, the character Mary Tyler Moore plays in 1980's "Ordinary People," a drama, has some of the same elements as Rosalind Russell's Harriet Craig here.
Another variant, which centers on the ambiguous intentions of a man toward a wealthy young woman, can be found in "The Heiress" with Olivia de Havilland, remade (with the title of the Henry James novel both films were based on) as "Washington Square" in the 1990s, with Jennifer Jason Leigh.
So, I view "Craig's Wife" as a surprisingly unflinching view of how one woman walled herself up within a prison -- both material and emotional -- of her own making. Highly recommended.
20 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?