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 ...
Secretary
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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

It's Not a Masterpiece but I Enjoyed It and the Cast
2 February 2014 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Della (1964)

*** (out of 4)

Lawyer Barney Stafford (Paul Burke) is trying to close a major land deal but the wealthy Della Chappell (Joan Crawford) refuses to sell some of her property. Della is known as a recluse who has stayed locked up inside her mansion for fifteen-years but when the lawyer goes to see her he meets her daughter Jenny (Diane Baker) and the two quickly fall in love but there's a family secret that's going to come up. DELLA is a film that has pretty much been forgotten for one reason or another. I think the main reason is that Crawford was making all sorts of campy horror films around this period so when fans watch the actress in a movie from this era they just aren't searching out this melodrama. I'm not going to sit here and say this is some sort of masterpiece or anything like that but I actually really enjoyed the film. At an incredibly short 70-minutes, there's no question that the film moves at a very good pace and we're given a terrific cast. Not only is Crawford, Burke and Baker on hand but we also get Charles Bickford, Richard Carlson and Otto Kruger. The performances are good for the most part with Crawford playing the type of eccentric character that she was normally doing during this period of her career. Since this doesn't go into the exploitation field, she's able to stay more laid back without being forced to go over-the-top. I thought both Burke and Baker were good in their parts and it was fun seeing Bickford in his next to last film. Bickford and Crawford get to share one scene together and it was great seeing the two vets working together. The screenplay certainly isn't anything great but it at least keeps you entertained up through the big secret. DELLA is mainly going to appeal to fans of Crawford who want to see what the actress was doing in this period outside the horror films.


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