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Possessed (1947)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 26 July 1947 (USA)
After being found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, a severely catatonic woman tells a doctor the complex story of how she wound up there.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
John Ridgely ...
...
Dr. Ames
...
Dr. Max Sherman
Peter Miles ...
Wynn Graham (as Gerald Perreau)
Jakob Gimpel ...
Walter Sveldon (as Jacob Gimpel)
Isabel Withers ...
Nurse Rosen
Lisa Golm ...
Elsie
...
Asst. District Attorney
...
Norris
...
Dr. Craig

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Storyline

A woman wanders the streets of Los Angeles in some sort of emotional distress. She is also under some delusion as she approaches many men, strangers who she calls "David". Eventually, an ambulance is called, the attendants who take her to the hospital, where she is eventually placed in the psychiatric ward. Placing her under some medication to help her remember, Dr. Harvey Willard, the psychiatrist on duty, is able to get some semblance of a story out of her over the ensuing days. This phase of her life begins just over a year ago when she, single RN Louise Howell, is under the employ of wealthy Dean Graham to take care of his chronically ill and largely bedridden wife, Pauline Graham, at their lake house outside of Washington, DC. Due to her circumstances, Pauline believes that Dean and Louise are carrying on an affair behind her back. Louise can see that Dean does have feelings for her that way in his loneliness. The "David" in question is David Sutton, a civil engineer who lives ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 July 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,592,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Star Joan Crawford reportedly said, "I will not go on with this picture unless the Epstein Boys rewrite my part." Julius J. and Philip Epstein were then on suspension from the studio. I order to get them to accede to Crawford's demands, Jack Warner had to take them off of suspension... with back pay. See more »

Goofs

David is talking about mathematics to Louise, shows her a drawing of a parabola, and then claims that the Army wasn't interested in it. This statement is incorrect; parabolas describe the trajectory of artillery shells and the military relies heavily upon them to properly aim artillery. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Harvey Williard: It was pain that made her this way... only through greater pain and suffering beyond belief, can she get well again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Outrageous! (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Carnaval, Opus 9
by Robert Schumann
Played on a piano by Van Heflin (dubbed by Jakob Gimpel)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Crawford excels in compelling drama
10 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Before "Play Misty For Me" (1971) and "Fatal Attraction" (1987), comes this story of a nurse (Joan Crawford) who's attached to a man (Van Heflin), who eventually finds her too possessive and breaks it off, but she can not let him go. When they meet again at her employer's (Raymond Massey) residence, she wants to resume the relationship, saying its awful for a woman to lie down at night and not be able to sleep, but he still won't take her back. She eventually accepts widower Massey's marriage proposal, explaining that it's terrible for a woman to be unwanted, although she's not in love with him. Eventually, Massey's daughter Geraldine Brooks starts to date Heflin, further complicating matters, and putting Crawford over the edge. Script, photography, direction, music are exemplary, the 4 leads are memorable, but Crawford is particularly riveting. Her first breakdown (at Massey's waterfront mansion) with Heflin might be considered over-the-top 40s style acting (pre-Method), but she delivers it beautifully, her face and expressions a towering display of emotion and angst. It's a performance that Crawford must have pulled from her own life experiences to achieve such rising momentum. No wonder actor Cliff Robertson (her co-star in "Autumn Leaves - 1956) once stated in a documentary that she's "a damned good actress."


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