6.8/10
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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.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Lucy Harbin
... Carol Cutler
... Bill Cutler
... Raymond Fields
... Michael Fields
... Emily Cutler
... Leo Krause
... Mrs. Alison Fields
... 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:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 January 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Zwangsjacke  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joan Crawford required the script be completely re-written to her specifications before she agreed to sign on to the film. See more »

Goofs

The steering wheel of the car in which Joan and Diane are riding is a dark color. When they get out of the car, a white steering wheel can be seen through the windshield. See more »

Quotes

First little girl: Lucy Harbin took an axe, gave her husband forty whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave his girlfriend forty one.
Carol Harbin: [Lucy storms out to find two girls playing jump rope] What is it, Mother?
Lucy Harbin: I heard them...
First little girl: London bridge is falling down, falling down, London bridge is falling down, my fair lady.
Carol Harbin: It's just a nursery rhyme, mother.
Second little girl: Take the key and lock her up, lock her up, lock her up, take the key and lock her up, my fair lady.
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Crazy Credits

The Columbia Pictures logo at the end of the film features the classic woman with torch, only her head has been chopped off and it's sitting at her feet. See more »

Connections

Edited into Battle-Axe: The Making of 'Strait-Jacket' (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

All of Me
(Gerald Marks/Seymour Simons) remade as "There Goes That Song Again"
(Written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn). Both songs share the same melody.
Song being played on the record player.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Psycho in Strait-Jacket
6 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

"Strait-Jacket" tells this story: Lucy Habin (Joan Crawford) surprises her husband with another woman. She falls into madness and kills them both, and her daughter sees everything. After spending 20 years in an asylum, she's is considered recovered and released. She leaves the asylum and goes to live with her daughter. Very simply told this is just the introduction of the film. The rest you can guess but maybe you'll guess wrong. I said maybe.

This is an interesting film. It is deceivingly naive but those able to go beyond the story will make their own discoveries. For one thing: "Strait-Jacket" was filmed in 1963 when society was more conservative - social rules and divisions were much more rigid then. There were mainly two choices (especially in small towns and rural areas) - either adapt to society and its straight-jacket or else be an outcast. Why am writing this? Because this is one of my readings of the film.

Anyway "Strait-Jacket" is a good thriller (not so much for the scares but rather for the atmosphere). Well, it hasn't the sophistication of some film noirs of the 40s and 50s but its charm resides in its simplicity not deprived of sense of humor. Joan Crawfords acting is of course superb and the supporting cast does also a good job. The story is interesting and will keep your attention till the end.

I've seen 2 other Castle films ("The Tingler" and "House on Haunted Hill") - both of them funny and entertaining, but I think that "Strait-Jacket" is the best one - it is not so amateurish and goes deeper than the other ones, but still preserves the light touch characteristic of William Castle. There are surprises in store. Go for it!


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