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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 Walter, whom she has lied to about her inability to have children; her cousin Claire, whom she treats like a secretary; and her servants whom she treats like slaves. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I love this movie, and own a copy of it. It's what I would call a melodrama, but has great characters, good pacing and a tightly-written script. In addition, George Duning's music score is beautiful and haunting. Joan Crawford dominates the movie, and her performance is over the top at times, but I think the other actors hold their own very well -- Ms. Crawford does not overpower them. The other characters -- Wendell Corey as the naive and deluded husband, Lucile Watson as the boss's shrewd but likable wife, and Viola Roach (I think) as the Craigs' housekeeper are all well-fleshed-out characters, and the performances are excellent. I don't think there's an actor in the whole movie who isn't memorable.
The lengths to which Harriet goes to insure the perfection of her home are comical, at times. She scolds Mrs. Harold (sp?), the housekeeper, for not remembering to close the drapes after 11:00 every morning. When she and Clare, her cousin, are out of town visiting Harriet's mother, Harriet has Clare calling everybody under the sun in her neighborhood to find out why there's nobody home. Clare tells Harriet that when she got no answer at the Craig number, she even had the operator check the number to be sure the phone wasn't out of order! There are many memorable scenes in this film, but some that I thought were particularly good were the scenes where Harriet visits her mentally ill mother in a sanitarium. Harriet simply cannot penetrate the state of oblivion that her mother dwells in to block out the world, and she's at a loss to know what to do, or how to communicate with her mother. Ms. Crawford does a good job of conveying her sadness and frustration. It is a poignant scene, serving to humanize Harriet and point up the fact that she does have genuine feelings for someone. Afterward, she confides her worries to the doctor, played by Katherine Warren, and the conversation between the two women is very revealing. I also enjoyed the scene where she and Mrs. Harold lock horns about the running of the house Mrs. Harold isn't intimidated by Harriet, and gives as good as she gets.
This is a great vehicle for Joan Crawford, Wendell Corey, and in fact, everybody in the movie. Give it a look!
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