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 »
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 <email@example.com>
In the book [the films of Joan Crawford], there is a still from the film showing Crawford with a cigarette in her hand in the living -room scene following the dinner party. Since Harriet was such a neat freak, obviously this scene was later re-shot. See more »
When Walter sits up in bed, he puts his slipper on his right foot. In a subsequent shot when Harriet moves closer to the bathroom, he puts the same slipper on the same foot. See more »
"A strange and fascinating woman, at war with the whole world."
The line above is from the original advertising art, and it conveys the theme of HARRIET CRAIG very well. I have an issue with reviewers who are constantly comparing characters on the screen with the actors who portray them. Harriet Craig was a character, and that is all. There are parallels between the lives of the character and Joan Crawford herself, but one should not go so far as to say they are the same! Joan Crawford is a woman of many mysteries. Every account you could possibly read about her life is full of contradictions; was she good or was she bad, was the ruthless and cruel or was she generous and kind? She was probably all of these things and, like Harriet Craig, a complicated, non-conventional, and independent woman at war with the world.
This is where the comparison ends. The character in the film is a compulsive liar and manipulator. Harriet Craig lies about anything and everything in the spider's web she builds around her. Joan Crawford's performance is fierce and chilling in its complexity. This is a woman of astounding talent, playing a character worthy of that talent. This is one of only a handful of roles Crawford ever played that allowed her to really act, which she does so well you will forget all about those other "great" actresses which usually claim all the credit.
If 1950 was not such a tough year, I'm convinced Joan would have received an Oscar nomination for the performance. The film itself was worthy of a nomination and, as the advertising art claimed, was "one of the five best pictures of the year." I think it is comparable in quality to ALL ABOUT EVE and SUNSET BLVD., and certainly Crawford's performance is on par with the leads in those films, and one of the best of her career! One last final note: a feminist take on HARRIET CRAIG may emphasize that Harriet was just a woman trying to survive the sexist times...but Wendell Corey was such a good and nice husband, believing in their equality, that I don't buy it. Harriet was a woman hurt by her times and unfortunately taking out her mistrust of men on her innocent and good husband, as well as others around her. Harriet was, in the end, a victim of her own prejudice, and selfish, compulsive lies.
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