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Strait-Jacket (1964)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 2,649 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 50 critic

After a 20 year stay at an asylum for a double murder, a mother returns to her estranged daughter where suspicions arise about her behavior.

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Title: Strait-Jacket (1964)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Lucy Harbin
...
Carol Harbin
...
Bill Cutler
Howard St. John ...
Raymond Fields
John Anthony Hayes ...
Michael Fields
Rochelle Hudson ...
Emily Cutler
...
Leo Krause
Edith Atwater ...
Mrs. Alison Fields
Mitchell Cox ...
Dr. Anderson
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Storyline

Lucy Harbin has been in an asylum for 20 years after axing her husband and his mistress during a crime of passion, witnessed by her young daughter, Carol. While trying to renew ties with Carol, who is now a young woman about to be married, heads begin to roll again. Is Lucy repeating her past? Written by Ray Hamel <hamel@primate.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

HER HUSBAND...HER ROOM... ......AND ANOTHER WOMAN See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 January 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Zwangsjacke  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford required the script be completely rewritten to her specifications before she agreed to sign on to the film. See more »

Goofs

When Lucy commits a double ax murder at the beginning of the film, there is absolutely no blood on ax blade or blood splattering during her brutal attack. See more »

Quotes

Carol Harbin: Their first mistake was thinking that the child was asleep, the second mistake was that the wife had decided to come home that night on the train.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia Pictures logo at the end of the film features the classic woman with torch, only her head has been chopped off and it's sitting at her feet. See more »

Connections

Featured in Serial Mom (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

All of Me
(Gerald Marks/Seymour Simons) based on "There Goes That Song Again"
(Written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn). Both songs share the same melody.
Song being played on the record player.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Excellent little shocker from William Castle!
28 November 2006 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

William Castle is best known for fun, gimmicky horror flicks the likes of The House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler; but his resume features some more complex films that can comfortably sit alongside the best B-movies of the sixties, and Straight-Jacket is one such film. Obviously, a film of this nature relies heavily on its lead star; so it's a good job that this one benefits from a great leading performance courtesy of the fabulous Joan Crawford. Crawford isn't as good here as she was two years earlier in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, but she approaches her role with seriousness, and it gives the film a sense of credibility not often associated with this type of film. The plot takes obvious influence from Psycho, and focuses on Lucy Harbin. She was sent to an asylum after she discovered her husband in bed with another woman, and proceeded to axe them both to death. She is released twenty years later, still on the brink of sanity, and is reunited with her daughter Carol (who was present at the murder) and discovers that she is engaged to be married.

The tagline, which states that the film 'vividly depicts axe murders' isn't exactly true, and the film is not very shocking in today's day and age. However, this would obviously have been different back in 1964, and despite no real money shots; Castle gives his film a great macabre atmosphere, and this adequately provides the horror on its own. Crawford gets a great support cast to work with, and again the film transcends its B-movie heritage as they're all extremely good. Diane Baker, Leif Erickson and my personal favourite, George Kennedy, all manage to give stand-out performances behind the leading lady. The film opens up with a great little sequence which shows why the lead character was sent to the asylum, and although the plotting takes a downturn after that; Castle manages to keep things interesting all the way down to the explosive ending. The final plot twist isn't exactly impossible to figure out, but I have to say that it caught me by surprise and while not everything completely makes sense by the end, Castle does a good job of implementing the twist. Overall, Homicidal and Mr Sardonicus still top my list of favourite William Castle films, but Straight-Jacket isn't far behind and comes highly recommended!


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