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Della (1964)

| Drama
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:
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Barney Stafford
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Hugh Stafford
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Della Chappell
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David Stafford
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Jenny Chappell
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Joel Stafford
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Walter Garrick
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Chris Stafford
Marianna Case ...
Addie Stafford
Sara Taft ...
Mrs. Kyle
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Sam Jordon
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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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Also Known As:

Fatal Confinement  »

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(RCA Sound Recording)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

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User Reviews

 
Paper Tiger
31 January 2014 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Joan Crawford plays a reclusive millionaire named Della Chappell. She lives with her grown daughter (Diane Baker) in their mansion. They never leave the house and stay up at night. No, this is not a vampire movie but that would have been cool. It actually starts out as a fairly interesting story. Ambitious lawyer Barney Stafford (Paul Burke) tries to broker a land deal between Della and a big company, only to be met with resistance from her. Then Barney decides Della must be keeping her daughter against her will so he has to help her. There's a great deal of tension here and everybody keeps telling Barney he doesn't want to challenge Della. All of this sounds like it could have been a good thriller.

Unfortunately, the movie backs off of this and begins to portray Della in a sympathetic light. It loses all of the tension and intrigue it had built up. What we wind up with then is a rather boring soaper with a disjointed plot. I wondered when watching the opening titles if this was made for TV and, sure enough, it originally was a pilot for a TV series. A car chase towards the end reminded me of the old "Toonces the driving cat" sketches from Saturday Night Live. Not a bad way to spend 70 minutes but no great shakes, either.


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