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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
Just what does Van Heflin's David have the makes Joan Crawford's Louise go literally mad for him?
Doesn't appear to be that much in the looks department. Perhaps just that special touch that signals, "either you've got it or you haven't."
Whatever the case, Louise pleads, cajoles, rants and raves for David the entire film. What does our David do?--merely tell Louise the truth: that he's simply not in love with her.
Granted, David's rather flippant, self-absorbed and bored, but that's his prerogative. Instead of accepting this and moving on with her life, Louise insists on minding David's old business and clinging to bygone days.
All this "to-do," when a simple scan of a Dale Carnegie text might have solved the problem.
Louise does have her supporters: young stepdaughter Carol and aging hubbie Dean do what they can to bolster Louise's confidence. Since Geraldine Brooks and Raymond Massey portray these respective roles, there's sure to be strong convictions expressed.
Made just two years after her Oscar-winning turn in "Mildred Pierce," Crawford is in her mature mettle here. Although the same title was used for a Crawford film 16 years earlier, the similarity is in name only.
"Possessed" allows Joan to suffer royally and she does, pulling out all the schizophrenic stops to slam this one home. Since no one reels better than Crawford, it's an engaging performance in an engrossing film.
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