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By Love Possessed (1961)

Neurotic woman engages in an affair with the law partner of her impotent husband.



(screenplay) (as John Dennis), (novel)

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Complete credited cast:
Marjorie Penrose
Arthur Winner
Julius Penrose (as Jason Robards Jr.)
Warren Winner
Helen Detweiler
Noah Tuttle
Dr. Reggie Shaw
Veronica Kovacs
Gilbert Green ...
Mr. Woolf
Frank Maxwell ...
Jerry Brophy
Bernie Breck
Junie McCarthy
Clarissa Winner


Neurotic woman engages in an affair with the law partner of her impotent husband.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

affair | based on novel | See All (2) »


ALL OF THEM WERE BY LOVE POSSESSED! The bold best-seller that sent a fever through America now fires the screen! See more »




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Release Date:

23 November 1961 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

A Posse do Amor  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 1961, TWA began showing in-flight movies on a regular basis. This film kicked-off the program and became the first movie screened in-flight by an airline. See also Come September (1961). But for the very first in-flight movie see The Lost World (1925). See more »


Marjorie Penrose: You made me feel like I was an animal... before I knew I *was* one.
See more »


Referenced in Queer as Folk: Starting a Whole New Life (2004) See more »


By Love Possessed
Music by Elmer Bernstein
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
See more »

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User Reviews

By soap possessed
7 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lana Turner, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Jason Robards, Barbara Bel Geddes, Susan Kohner and George Hamilton are - if we are to believe the title - "By Love Possessed" in this 1961 film which also stars Thomas Mitchell and Yvonne Craig. As the name of the movie indicates, this is a huge, glossy, color soap opera featuring beautiful fall scenery, huge homes and the attractive people in them, fancy cars and lots of driving scenes. The only house which isn't sumptuous belongs to the supposedly super-wealthy Helen - in her scenes, she looks like she lives in a Motel 6.

BLP is supposed to be about SEX. Hamilton gets it; Lana can't get it so she rides horses; Efrem can't get it so he works late at the office; Kohner can't get it so she looks at papers in her safety deposit box; Mitchell can't get it because he's too old; Robards can't have it because he's a cripple; Bel Geddes can't get it because she's in a marriage where the couple has drifted apart; and Craig has enough for all of them.

The couples -- Marjorie and Julius (Lana and Jason), Clarissa and Arthur (Bel Geddes and Zimbalist), Helen and Warren (Kohner and Hamilton) do a lot of talking and Warren and Veronica (Craig) do a lot of making out.

It all adds up to a big zero that obviously was meant to cash in on Turner's big success with "Imitation of Life," as was "Portrait in Black" but in both films, they forgot to have Douglas Sirk direct.

The acting is fairly superficial except for Jason Robards and Barbara Bel Geddes. Bel Geddes, a wonderful actress, creates a real character with real emotions, sticks with it, and is a success. Robards, famous for his performances in Eugene O'Neill works, is out of place here; he has no one to play off of, as he has to act with Zimbalist and Turner. The very pretty Yvonne Craig, who would have better success in television, pouts well. Susan Kohner has none of the allure she displayed in "Imitation of Life" but with the help of an ugly wig, creates a sad character nonetheless. Hamilton is in the Tony Perkins role, which Perkins would have done a lot better. Hamilton is someone I prefer as a personality who parodies himself. When he attempts to act, it's painful. Zimbalist, who always comes off as a rich society person, comes off as a rich society person here. Very handsome, with a fine speaking voice, he never has had much range. Not that he needed a lot here, but he needed more than he had.

Lana Turner looks lovely, though her fashions don't register as they have in past films. She could always pull off an adulterous drunk - I personally don't think she has enough to do. There are too many other characters. If you're going to do a Lana Turner movie, I say make it a Lana Turner movie and let's see us some more Lana! The end of the film is pure Hollywood hokum. So are the beginning and the middle. This type of film is usually fun if nothing else; this one is tedious.

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