A dazed woman walks the streets of Los Angeles looking for a man named David. After collapsing in a diner, she’s taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. Flashbacks reveal her obsession for David as a result of borderline personality disorder which ultimately leads to murder.
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A noir of the mind, not so much stylistically (some trademarks of the genre are absent here.) Crawford made some of her best films after getting booted from MGM, including this, M. Pierce, Johnny Guitar, etc, proving they made a grave blunder in letting her go. This movie succeeds on strong casting, including Heflin, who maybe never had better roles than this and Patterns. Joan prob deserved Oscar that year. 4 stars
In addition to the iconic images, Possessed is a marvel of intelligence in composition. Noir is often about the art of making an entrance. Bernhanrdt quite cleverly doesn't repeat himself in this regard. You never know when someone is watching, or whose perspective will be shown next. It's gleefully loopy, in retrospect, but quite a punch to the gut at first. The purely psychological explanation should feel "off".
Van Heflin's character is such a douchebag. Joan Crawford deserves an Oscar for convincing us that her love for this mediocre man could drive her insane. As if she doesn't outshine everyone else on screen.
wonderful. Joan's range is incredible in this one. she's demure, enraged, self-possessed, out of control, venomous, headstrong and subservient. only an actress like Joan could have pulled a complex character like this at this time. Not even Bette Davis! It's in the way she's able to melt into vulnerability at a moment's notice.