7.2/10
3,239
62 user 34 critic

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.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Sudden Fear (1952)
Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

After an ambitious actor insinuates himself into the life of a wealthy middle-aged playwright and marries her, he plots with his mistress to murder her.

Director: David Miller
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A New York socialite climbs the ladder of success man by man until a life among rich gangsters gives her what she thought she always wanted.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran
Possessed (1931)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Ambitious factory Girl Marion Martin meets a handsome well-to-do, but he's interested in her as a mistress, not a wife.

Director: Clarence Brown
Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford
Humoresque (1946)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy, neurotic socialite.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A hard-working mother inches towards disaster as she divorces her husband and starts a successful restaurant business to support her spoiled daughter.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A female blackmailer with a disfiguring facial scar meets a plastic surgeon who offers her the possibility of looking like a normal woman.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt
Flamingo Road (1949)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Carnival dancer Lane Bellamy finds herself stranded in a southern town ruled by corrupt political boss Titus Semple. Lane becomes romantically involved with sheriff Fielding Carlisle, a ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott, Sydney Greenstreet
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An embittered, vengeful POW stalks his former commanding officer who betrayed his men's planned escape attempt from a Nazi prison camp.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Van Heflin, Robert Ryan, Janet Leigh
The Prowler (1951)
Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When Susan Gilvray reports a prowler outside her house police officer Webb Garwood investigates and sparks fly. If only her husband wasn't in the way.

Director: Joseph Losey
Stars: Van Heflin, Evelyn Keyes, John Maxwell
Harriet Craig (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Domineering Harriet Craig 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 ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Joan Crawford, Wendell Corey, Lucile Watson
Daisy Kenyon (1947)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Commercial artist Daisy Kenyon is involved with married lawyer Dan O'Mara, and hopes someday to marry him, if he ever divorces his wife Lucille. She meets returning veteran Peter, a decent ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An adventuresome young man goes off to find himself and loses his socialite fiancée in the process. But when he returns 10 years later, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even though she is already married.

Director: Edmund Goulding
Stars: Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, John Payne
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

A dazed woman walks the streets of Los Angeles looking for a man named David. After collapsing in a diner, she's taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. Flashbacks reveal her obsession for David as a result of borderline personality disorder which ultimately leads to murder. Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 July 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,592,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The hospital that the ambulance pulls into appears to be the Los Angeles County, USC Medical Center at 1200 N. State St., Los Angeles, CA.. See more »

Goofs

In the opening sequence the character played by Crawford walks past a sign that reads Depostary Bank. It should be Depository Bank. See more »

Quotes

David Sutton: My liver rushes in where angels fear to tread!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Possessed: The Quintessential Film Noir (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Muddled, yet entertaining (if slightly unbelievable) drama
26 July 2002 | by (Counting the seconds, NYC) – See all my reviews

Another coup for Joan Crawford, 1947's Possessed (Joan co-starred with Clark Gable in a 1938 film of the same name), sees the star in a great vehicle in which to show off her many dramatic talents.

The hospital scenes are a bit over the top, and Stanley Ridges plays the psychiatric doctor a bit too eagerly. I half expected him to start wringing his hands with an Igor-type `yes, master – I think it's working, master' look on his face every time one of the drugs he gave Joan Crawford began taking effect. Ridges' performance is earnest, but his approach made me giggle more than once.

What's good about the film is its insight into issues regarding mental illness and its compassionate, non-exploitative exploration of the subject matter. This is accomplished in spite of Ridges' misguided portrayal of Dr. Willard, and due in large part to Crawford's brave, unglamorous portrayal of patient Louise Graham.

On the whole, Possessed is a very entertaining film that left me wanting to know what would happen next.

I think the death of Dean Graham's first wife is rushed and a bit muddled. Her character should have been actually introduced (even in one brief scene) rather than merely heard or talked about in flashback. Instead, there is just a big jump right into the marriage of Dean and Louise. This lack of transition really annoys me, although I can't exactly pinpoint why – I guess the whole thing just feels rushed.

Conveniently appearing and re-appearing on the scene is architect David Sutton, always around to throw Louise into a tizzy, as she cannot seem to get over the fact that he has broken off their relationship. It's difficult to understand David's appeal, as his character is extremely smarmy and smug, and he has no socially redeeming values whatsoever. To illustrate this, he shows up un-invited to Dean and Louise's wedding reception for the free food and drink. Ultimately, Dean's daughter Carol falls for him. Why, ladies??

If one can get past this implausible plot thread and take the story at face value, this is when the film really takes off, and Crawford's neurosis/psychosis picks up speed. The film improves greatly from here, and the plot advances nicely.

CAST/PERFORMANCES: Joan Crawford (Louise Howell Graham) – Crawford's transformation from personally neurotic, yet mild, unobtrusive caregiver to scheming, paranoid, jealous, unstable woman scorned is fairly believable, given the plot. I adore her voice, and the circumstances of the script, her role, and therefore her dialog really allow Crawford to express herself well, and she is a treat to hear as well as watch, as usual.

Raymond Massey (Dean Graham) – Massey is such a natural actor that I always adore his performances, and here is just wonderful. I love the scene where he dances with Crawford – watch as he forgets himself and sticks his tongue partway out with the effort of the dance. That, his quoting Bugs Bunny and his very tender, heartfelt scenes with Joan (his Dean Graham character is so sweet and patient) are a standout. I think it was a good casting choice to go with Massey, as his self-effacing nature is perfect for this role.

Van Heflin (David Sutton) – Despite the character's flaws (a very difficult role to play), in the actor's capable hands, it is done well. In his inimitable style and voice inflection, Heflin has the best line in the film, which he delivers offhandedly while pacing the floor: `I'm sorry, Louise – I seldom hit a woman, but if you don't leave me alone, I'll wind up kicking babies.'

Geraldine Brooks (Carol Graham) – a lovely actress, who I am sure I've seen in other films, as her name sounds familiar. She‘s very good as Carol, and gives a lively and strong performance as Massey's daughter. Her reaction to her mom's death and to Crawford's motives for marrying her father are very believable.

A good cast, interesting plot, and decent execution make for a fine film noir.


10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?