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Craig's Wife (1936)

Passed | | Drama | 25 September 1936 (USA)
A domineering woman marries a wealthy man for his money, and then uses her position to further her own ambitions for money and power.

Director:

Dorothy Arzner

Writers:

Mary C. McCall Jr. (screenplay) (as Mary C. McCall), George Kelly (play)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Rosalind Russell ... Harriet Craig
John Boles ... Walter Craig
Billie Burke ... Mrs. Frazier
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Harold
Dorothy Wilson ... Ethel Landreth
Alma Kruger ... Ellen Austen
Thomas Mitchell ... Fergus Passmore
Raymond Walburn ... Billy Birkmire
Elisabeth Risdon ... Mrs. Landreth
Robert Allen ... Gene Fredericks
Nydia Westman ... Mazie
Kathleen Burke ... Adelaide Passmore
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Storyline

In Rye, New York, wealthy Walter Craig loves his wife, Harriet Craig. Conversely, Harriet, unaware to Walter, married him solely for independence, she believing that love in the romantic sense only complicating marriage. She focuses all of her energies on ensuring that the house in which they live is maintained to her standards, where everything and everyone has their proper place, leading to the household domestics, who do what they're told regardless, having a sense of contempt for her under their breath. To Harriet, Walter is purely a means to the end of that perfect house. Without Walter having realized it, Harriet, as was her want, has isolated them in their house, his friends who have slowly distanced themselves from him in not wanting to deal with her. Besides the domestics, the only person allowed in the house is Walter's maternal Aunt Ellen, who lives with them in she being his protector against Harriet, unlike Walter's belief that he is taking care of her. Harriet wants the ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 September 1936 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'obsession de Madame Craig See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Columbia chief Harry Cohn decided to remake this film, he also decided he didn't want to risk his contracted star actresses in the unsympathetic role of Harriet Craig. He arranged with MGM to loan out Rosalind Russell for the role, even though she fought the move. The film turned out to be an important step toward stardom for Russell. See more »

Quotes

Harriet Craig: I'm all alone in the house now...
[turning to see the door closing behind her]
Harriet Craig: Wait! don't go!
See more »

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User Reviews

Rosalind Russell plays a 1930s piece of work
7 July 2004 | by August1991See all my reviews

Before television, this kind of short melodrama was standard cinema fare. It's still fun to watch. The interior studio sets don't quite match the exterior studio sets and the people depicted always seem well-to-do. This false elegance is to movies of the 1930s what CGI is to movies of our era. Well, people go to the cinema in part to be dazzled.

This is a women's picture. The director was a woman, the screenplay was written by a woman and the main characters are women. And what a character Russell plays! The movie is a morality play structured around the faults of one character, Mr. Craig's wife. She obsessively wants to control everything to satisfy her need for security, or so goes the the pop psychology implied by the story.

Well-written television serials now deal with these kinds of characters. But I somehow prefer the slower pace of the 1930s version. I also like the little surprises. Watch for Billie Burke, the Good Witch of the North. You'll recognize the voice immediately.


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