61 user 35 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.



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

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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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 ...
Asst. District Attorney
Dr. Craig


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


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

26 July 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Secret  »

Box Office


$2,592,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


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 »


Carol Graham: Sometimes it's not your liver I'm worried about, it's your mind!
See more »


Featured in Kisses (1991) See more »


Kaiserwalzer (Emperor Waltz), Op. 437
Music by Johann Strauss
Played at the wedding reception
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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