A man trying to negotiate a property deal with a wealthy but reclusive widow becomes romantically involved with the woman's unhinged daughter.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Burke ...
Barney Stafford
...
Hugh Stafford
...
Della Chappell
...
David Stafford
...
Jenny Chappell
Robert Sampson ...
Joel Stafford
...
Walter Garrick
James Noah ...
Chris Stafford
Marianna Case ...
Addie Stafford
Sara Taft ...
Mrs. Kyle
Walter Woolf King ...
Sam Jordon
...
Eric Kline
Voltaire Perkins ...
Herb Foster
...
Mark Nodella
Jan Shepard ...
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Storyline

Della Chappell (Joan Crawford) is a very wealthy and incredibly reclusive woman. When a big company wants the land Della lives on, the town sends out Barney Stafford (Paul Burke) to talk to her. She invites Barney over to negotiate the proposal. Barney soon takes a liking to Della's equally reclusive daughter Jenny Chappell (Diane Baker). After spending some time with Jenny, he realizes that Della has a dark secret, one that keeps them from the outside world. Written by Joan Crawford & William Castle

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Drama

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Fatal Confinement  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The first of two consecutive films - the second being Strait-Jacket (1964) - in which Joan Crawford and Diane Baker play mother and daughter. Both projects were filmed only months apart. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Must for Crawford Fans
2 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Most recently aired 1/30/14 on TCM during January's Joan Crawford Month, this film will have its greatest appeal to her fans and should not be missed if the opportunity to see it presents itself. I would venture the opinion that this is Crawford's second best film of the final stage of her career. Only Baby Jane surpasses it, but Della outclasses all the others. Although that's not exactly a high bar to clear, it was a surprisingly enjoyable performance. While the storyline isn't particularly engrossing or compelling, Joan manages to elevate the material with fine moments that range from haughtiness and bitchiness to tenderness and sensitivity. At 60 years old she looks naturally stunning and I couldn't help but marvel at the contrast between her mature elegance and the strange surgically altered sexagenarian actresses of today. Her hair is perfection and the clothes are both flattering and age-appropriate in palettes beautifully coordinated with superb jewelry and accessories. Clocking in at just over an hour it's an easy watch and - although not a masterpiece - is a cool view of Crawford's dwindling output after a lifetime on screen.


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