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Strait-Jacket (1964)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 19 January 1964 (USA)
After a twenty-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

Writer:

Robert Bloch
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Joan Crawford ... Lucy Harbin
Diane Baker ... Carol Cutler
Leif Erickson ... Bill Cutler
Howard St. John ... Raymond Fields
John Anthony Hayes ... Michael Fields
Rochelle Hudson ... Emily Cutler
George Kennedy ... Leo Krause
Edith Atwater ... Mrs. Alison Fields
Mitchell Cox ... Dr. Anderson
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Storyline

Lucy Harbin has been in an asylum for twenty years after axing her husband and his mistress during a crime of passion, witnessed by her young daughter, Carol. While trying to renew ties with Carol, who is now a young woman about to be married, heads begin to roll again. Is Lucy repeating her past? Written by Ray Hamel <hamel@primate.wisc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WARNING! 'Strait-Jacket' vividly depicts ax murders! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 January 1964 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Camisa de fuerza See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 2018, Strait-Jacket was released on Blu Ray in the UK as part of the William Castle at Columbia: Volume Two box set. Zotz!, 13 Frightened Girls and The Old Dark House are also included in the set. See more »

Goofs

Early in film, front page of a newspaper announcing Lucy Harbin's sentence to an insane asylum features a photo of her wearing a pair of earrings that she didn't purchase until her release, twenty years later. See more »

Quotes

Lucy Harbin: [to Michael] You sit down here with Carrol because I wouldn't want her to think I was taking her father away from her.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Columbia Pictures logo at the end of the closing credits has the Torch Lady's head chopped off and placed at her feet. See more »


Soundtracks

There Goes That Song Again
(Written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Excellent little shocker from William Castle!
28 November 2006 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

William Castle is best known for fun, gimmicky horror flicks the likes of The House on Haunted Hill and The Tingler; but his resume features some more complex films that can comfortably sit alongside the best B-movies of the sixties, and Straight-Jacket is one such film. Obviously, a film of this nature relies heavily on its lead star; so it's a good job that this one benefits from a great leading performance courtesy of the fabulous Joan Crawford. Crawford isn't as good here as she was two years earlier in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, but she approaches her role with seriousness, and it gives the film a sense of credibility not often associated with this type of film. The plot takes obvious influence from Psycho, and focuses on Lucy Harbin. She was sent to an asylum after she discovered her husband in bed with another woman, and proceeded to axe them both to death. She is released twenty years later, still on the brink of sanity, and is reunited with her daughter Carol (who was present at the murder) and discovers that she is engaged to be married.

The tagline, which states that the film 'vividly depicts axe murders' isn't exactly true, and the film is not very shocking in today's day and age. However, this would obviously have been different back in 1964, and despite no real money shots; Castle gives his film a great macabre atmosphere, and this adequately provides the horror on its own. Crawford gets a great support cast to work with, and again the film transcends its B-movie heritage as they're all extremely good. Diane Baker, Leif Erickson and my personal favourite, George Kennedy, all manage to give stand-out performances behind the leading lady. The film opens up with a great little sequence which shows why the lead character was sent to the asylum, and although the plotting takes a downturn after that; Castle manages to keep things interesting all the way down to the explosive ending. The final plot twist isn't exactly impossible to figure out, but I have to say that it caught me by surprise and while not everything completely makes sense by the end, Castle does a good job of implementing the twist. Overall, Homicidal and Mr Sardonicus still top my list of favourite William Castle films, but Straight-Jacket isn't far behind and comes highly recommended!


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