Up 1,037 this week

Della (1964)

 |  Drama
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.6/10 from 260 users  
Reviews: 10 user

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


0Check in

Top 25 Trivia Items From the Last 25 Years

Here are some amazing facts and figures to deepen your appreciation of the movies you love.

See the full list

Related News

"Perry Mason" Plays The Long Game

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 98 titles
created 06 Sep 2012
list image
a list of 43 titles
created 13 Mar 2013
a list of 3767 titles
created 14 May 2013
a list of 364 titles
created 02 Jan 2014
list image
a list of 104 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Della" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Della (1964)

Della (1964) on IMDb 4.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Della.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to ... See full summary »

Director: Hall Bartlett
Stars: Robert Stack, Polly Bergen, Diane McBain
Queen Bee (1955)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young woman arrives at the home of her socialite cousin, and soon finds herself sucked into the woman's complex web of deceit.

Director: Ranald MacDougall
Stars: Joan Crawford, Barry Sullivan, Betsy Palmer
Strait-Jacket (1964)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Teenagers Libby and Kit innocently spend an evening doing random crank calls. These calls lead to murderous consequences.

Director: William Castle
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Leif Erickson
Humoresque (1946)
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy, neurotic socialite.

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant
Trog (1970)
Certificate: GP Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A sympathetic anthropologist uses drugs and surgery to try to communicate with a primitive troglodyte who is found living in a local cave.

Director: Freddie Francis
Stars: Joan Crawford, Michael Gough, Bernard Kay
Rain (1932)
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A prostitute finds redemption in Pago Pago thanks to a hard missionary man.

Director: Lewis Milestone
Stars: Fred Howard, Ben Hendricks Jr., William Gargan
Autumn Leaves (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich
Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles
Berserk (1967)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Monica Rivers is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus, and she'll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her ... See full summary »

Director: Jim O'Connolly
Stars: Joan Crawford, Ty Hardin, Diana Dors
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A tough lady gangster learns that she will be totally blind within a week. She seeks help from the one eye surgeon who may be able to save her sight. In the process, he also causes her to ... See full summary »

Director: Felix E. Feist
Stars: Joan Crawford, Dennis Morgan, David Brian
Daisy Kenyon (1947)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Commercial artist Daisy Kenyon is involved with married lawyer Dan O'Mara, and hopes someday to marry him, if he ever divorces his wife Lucille. She meets returning veteran Peter, a decent ... See full summary »

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, Henry Fonda
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Moving into a beach house involves Lynn Markham in mystery, danger, and romance with a beach boy of dubious motives.

Director: Joseph Pevney
Stars: Joan Crawford, Jeff Chandler, Jan Sterling


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
Barney Phillips ...
Eric Kline
Voltaire Perkins ...
Herb Foster
Mark Nodella
Jan Shepard ...


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

independent film | See All (1) »







Also Known As:

Fatal Confinement  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was originally the pilot episode for a new television series entitled Royal Bay. When it was not picked up, it was re-edited into a stand-alone film and renamed Della. The hallmarks of its televisual beginnings are still visible in the billing of Joan Crawford as a "special guest star". See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

hack job with some interesting touches
1 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

If you're expecting a movie from the late period of Joan Crawford's career, you will soon realize "Della" is made for TV. In fact, it was a pilot for what seems to have been intended as a series about a lawyer and his clients, a sort of "Burke's Law" with a legal theme. In fact, by superficial coincidence, the star is James Burke.

Partly artistic (some of the blocking is obviously designed with geometric patterns in mind), partly hack (high lit, artificial environments, antiseptic props) part fashion show (every time we see Crawford she's wearing another exquisitely tailored ensemble), part generically boring (dull narration over dull opening montage, albeit with a fine, lush underscoring by Fred Steiner of "Perry Mason" theme-tune fame; dull men saying dull things in dull environments – featureless boardroom, picnic spot in nondescript city park with bland participants in spotless boring clothes, except for craggy, wild-haired, slightly rumpled Charles Bickford), part intriguing (references to pagan gods, stars and planets woven into a strong mother-daughter conflict with deep, mysterious roots). It's kind of like a rough sketch for a Eugene O'Neill play that never went beyond an outline and instead became a vehicle for Joan Crawford, who makes her usual post-"Baby Jane" style of star entrance, this time descending a staircase. Regal, defiant, tough; upswept silver-streaked hair, shoulders thrown back, menacing eyebrows. Trim and graceful in long shots, soft-focus in close-ups, she plays the title character, a wealthy recluse who, with her daughter (the attractive but undistinguished Diane Baker), has confined herself to her Downton Abbey-like property for several years except for occasional nighttime drives. What is she hiding? Vampirism? (If only.) Adjacent to her palatial domicile is a private garden festooned with statues of pagan gods that look like backyard kitsch from Walmart. The "moon goddess" wobbles when Baker leans against it; the sun god" ("mother and I made it out of clay when I was little") looks like a replica of a gape-mouthed Aztec temple carving and she feeds it flowers for reasons that are never explained. Baker spends a great deal of time gazing at the heavens in her private mini-planetarium which resembles a "Star Trek" set piece.

Into this weird world steps James Burke (a run-of-the-mill actor like Richard Basehart or Dana Andrews: not bad to look at, histrionically competent, but lacking electricity or charisma—in other words, the perfect complement to Diane Baker). Of course Crawford, with the help of the script and the direction, blows them off the screen, and not subtly either. But back to Burke. He plays a lawyer whose father, Bickford, is on the city council and both would like to convince Crawford to sell her property so that a large aerospace company can relocate its headquarters there and do wonders for the local economy. She agrees by phone to meet Burke to discuss the matter – at her place at 2am. Hmmm. While trying to persuade her to sell, he meets and becomes attracted to Baker (also awake and dressed to the nines in the middle of the night) and begins to wonder what is behind this reclusive nocturnal lifestyle. Pop (Bickford) happens to know the answer but he ain't talking'. Otherwise the movie would end at the 30-minute point.

In its time "Della" was probably dismissed as a hopeless clunker, the kind of thing that would have gone straight to video decades later. But through the prism of half a century, certain aspects of it become fascinating if you look at it clinically the way a car mechanic might look under the hood of an Edsel. But if you're expecting a well-conceived and emotionally involving dramatic experience, skip it.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Keith Green usherman
YOUTUBE in 7 parts! JimPSP2
Discuss Della (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: