Possessed (1947)


“This civilization of ours is a worse disease than heart trouble or tuberculosis, and we can’t escape it. ” – Dr. Harvey Williard

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Dec 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A confused and delirious woman recounts her tale to a doctor of how she ended up wandering the streets of the city seeking her long lost lover.

My Take on it – This is yet another film in the dwindling list of unfamiliar films that I  came across while trying to watch and review all films that have received Oscar nominations for its cast.

The premise is quite intriguing, but the story isn’t presented well enough for it to be even more powerful.

Joan Crawford does a nice job in the lead as a woman obsessed with a former lover who will do all she can to make sure that no one else can have him if she cannot.

The supporting cats of Raymond Massey and Van Heflin help things a bit but the biggest problem here is that none of the characters are developed well enough for the viewer to really care about what happens to them which is a shame.

Crawford was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here even if she gave many more better performances during her career.

Bottom Line – Intriguing premise that doesn’t manage to work as well as one might hope. Crawford does a nice job in this role of a woman obsessed with a former lover who will do all she can to have him for herself. The supporting cast helps things along and it was nice seeing Massey and Heflin doing their parts here. Crawford was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here but something seems slightly off that might have made things more gripping since it’s quite difficult to care or sympathize with any of the characters.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Star Joan Crawford and director Curtis Bernhardt spent time in real psychiatric wards in Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and Pasadena, observing mental patients as research for the film and going over the script with doctors for the sake of authenticity. On one of those visits, Crawford and Bernhardt witnessed, without asking permission, a woman undergoing electroconvulsive therapy. Warner Bros. was later forced to pay substantial damages to the woman, who claimed their presence was an invasion of privacy. She also claimed that Crawford based the role on her, which must have been quite a compliment for the actress. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

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One thought on “Possessed (1947)

  1. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1947 | MovieRob

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