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Possessed [VHS]

66 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Jack Carson, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks
  • Directors: Curtis Bernhardt, Michael Curtiz
  • Writers: Albert Maltz, Catherine Turney, James M. Cain, Louise Randall Pierson, Margaret Buell Wilder
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004COW6

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 21, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is a superlative film in which Joan Crawford gives the performance of a lifetime. This 1947 film opens with an disoriented woman (Joan Crawford) wandering the streets of Los Angeles and searching for someone named David. She is ultimately brought to the psychiatric ward of a hospital for evaluation, after she collapses. She is now catatonic.
The film then flashes back to those events that brought her to that state. It turns out that she is Louise Howell. She had an affair with David Sutton (Van Heflin), a man who treated her badly and did not return her love. For him, she was just a fling, while for her, he was more, much more. She smothered him and obsessed over him. This is the beginning of her slow descent into another reality.
Her marriage to a wealthy man (Raymon Massey) sets into motion a series of events that over time cause Louise's already tenuous grip on reality to loosen even more. Louise's obsession with her former lover finally takes her over the edge into the unchartered territory of a paranoid schitzophrenic with most unfortunate consequences for David.
Ms. Crawford's performance of a woman descending into the snakepit of madness is a wonder to behold. One senses her tenuous grip on reality. One feels her face life with trepidation, and her fear and confusion is palpable. This is certainly one of Ms. Crawford's best and most poignant performances. The viewer gets the sense that Ms. Crawford poured her heart and soul into this magnificent performance.
Joan Crawford fans and lovers of classic movies will enjoy this engrossing film.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on January 16, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
Any of the numerous detractors who complain about Joan Crawford's acting ability need to watch a screening of the Warner Bros Noir classic "Possessed". I'm sure they will be pleasantly pleased by the wonderful range of ability displayed by Joan in what is without a doubt one of her finest performances during the 1940's.
Often overshadowed by her wonderful performance in her first Warner film in 1945 "Mildred Pierce", for which she won an Oscar as Best Actress, "Possessed" involved a far more difficult acting task for Joan Crawford in a role that had numerous layers of complexity dealing as it did with the tragic issue of schizophrenia and its effects on the mind. Crawford rises admirably to the task and received a second Academy Award nomination for her work here. "Possessed" (not to be confused with an earlier film of the same name that Joan made costarring Clark Gable at MGM in the 1930's) tells the story of a personal nurse Louise Howell who suffers through a one sided love affair with David Sutton (Van Heflin in a stand out performance) an eternal bachelor type who is not willing to commit to an ongoing relationship and treats Louise with a dimissive attitude that feeds her inner uncertainity. The tragic consequences of this lack of love in Louise's life eventually leds to murder and a total mental breakdown with her being taken to a psychiatric hospital. Despite eventually marrying the husband (Raymond Massey), of her sick charge after her death as a form of compensation the obsession with David never leaves Louise and when he returns to her part of the world after working in Canada the old attraction that Louise thought she had buried forever returns with tragic results.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By chad edwards on September 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A nurse's obsession for a womanizing-heel nearly ruins her life and the lives of those around her. This dark, disturbing drama was the FATAL ATTRACTION of the 1940's, and while Crawford doesn't boil any bunnies, she's no less terrifying. In fact, I would venture to say that this is Crawford's finest hour. Her character is on the screen for most of the film's two hours, and she's believable and effective every moment. As much as I loved her in MILDRED PIERCE, I must say that Crawford should have won the Best Actress Oscar for this one. Crawford said in a later interview:"I worked harder on POSSESSED than any film I made", and it shows. POSSESSED features the glamorous star's richest, most powerful performance to date. A must, but don't confuse this film with the similarly titled 1931 movie which also stars Joan Crawford.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Karen Sampson Hudson on August 30, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Joan Crawford said that the role of the nurse, Louise, in "Possessed" was the most emotionally and psychologically demanding she undertook in her long career. This is a satisfying potboiler of a 1940s movie with themes of love (of course!),jealousy, guilt, obsession and murder. Crawford's Louise is a calm, quiet, very competent and tactful nurse whose foiled love affair unbalances her to the core. Van Heflin plays a rather sardonic, heartless type; Raymond Massey turns in a fine performance as a wealthy man who falls in love with Louise and marries her.
Joan Crawford fans will relish this movie, which deserves a high ranking among 1940s era films. Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Nelson Aspen on June 17, 2005
Format: DVD
This excellent drama has it all...high drama, great performances, clever storyline, beautiful art direction and La Crawford at her scene-stealing best. Really great and handsomely preserved here on DVD.

There's a neat little featuerette about its place in Film Noir, but unfortunately the professorial commentary track from a USC Film School staffer is over the top. He constantly refers to it as a "discussion" (how can ONE person have a discussion!? It's a 108 minute MONOLOGUE...he barely takes a breath) but it's more like his dissertation on the genre. He is, however, a brainy buff and his bites within the context of the overall collection are certainly worthwhile.

A classic picture you will enjoy seeing...Massey and Heflin keep up with Crawford, who operates on all engines throughout and never misses a moment to show how great she could be!
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