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"And how did everyone like Joan demolishing a dresser with her riding crop? Then when Barry Sullivan acts like a devoted husband she's beaming with gratefulness and love."

 

Yes, don'cha see that's all the Queen Bee wanted...a couple of conjugal visits would've saved evryone some heartaches. Though why she ws so crazy about Barry Sullivan, I'll never know. (Never cared for him).

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"Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte had Joan Crawford originally casted but she dropped out. That was a mistake. Having them BOTH in would have made the movie better. I really don't call these movies "horror" - they are more an extreme form of suspense/thriller type."

 

You're right BrownFan. I believe they call it Grand Guignol.

 

And Erebus, you're ALSO right...the movie was telegraphed all the way and too "on-the-nose." Not great writing, but still a schlocky classic.

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Bronxgirl, thanks for the Southern Gothic appreciation. I LOVE anything Southern Gothic and, having grown up in the Mississippi delta, I lived it! I don't know if it's possible to "pinpoint" what fuels this "genre," but I'd have to say it's the humidity and iced tea. Just spend a day sweating and drinking pitcher after pitcher of iced tea (with all that caffeine and massive amounts of sugar) and you'll be buzzing around like a "queen bee" slappin' every cousin that looks at you crooked.

I enjoyed Fay too. I just wish they would have included a scene of them having to drag her off-letting go with one of her best "King Kong" screams.

There were just too many memorable lines, but one of my favorites was-"Whatever I am-and I know what I am-you can't get away from me." Talk about The Tao Of Joan!

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As a Northerner, I wouldn't presume to know what the origins of Southern Gothic are, but I'll take a, uh, "stab" at it: the rich storytelling tradition in that part of the country, weaving folklore and superstitions of the "common" folk, and in the upper classes, a memory of faded nobility and honor; a dysfunctional Old World sensibility trying to cope with the harsh glare of reality from the New World.

 

Sociology aside, Joan is delicious as Eva Phillips and cuts through all that genteelness in her own special way.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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Did we see the same movie? I usually agree with your assessments, but not on this one. I thought overall it was terrible. I remember seeing it years ago and liking it, but it didnt live up to my expectations (25 or so years later) I cant believe the same guy who wrote Mildred Pierce wrote this turgid mess. The actors did as best as they could..........John Ireland was a little stiff.......(he and Crawford were carrying on during the movie!) Very stagy and predictable soap opera, I thought............

 

Message was edited by: Hibi

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I actually might be more in agreement with you than you think. It IS turgid and fairly predictable, and yes I wasn't crazy about John Ireland here, but I thought Joan really caught the pathology of her character quite well (hmmm, I wonder why?) and I liked the production -- really caught that Southern Gothic mood.

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I would've liked it better if it seemed like people left the house once in awhile. Just too stage bound. And if people werent happy with Joan, why didnt they just LEAVE? (LOL) Poor Betsy Palmer. Couldnt she afford her own apt??? I thought Joan did a good job, though the writing was all over the place with her character. Sweet one moment, then monster the next.......

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Movies have to think of very creative ways for characters, who NEED to run like hell, to stay in precarious predicaments. And Joanie wouldn't scare herself. She'd find a reflection of the only person who'd understand her.

 

Runnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn!!!!!!!!!!

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Just caught up with this one myself.

 

I think it's perhaps to easy to take a lot of pot shots at Joan Crawford from our point of view today, being perhaps overly familiar with the whole "Mommie Dearest" thing. Given what the part was, I think her performance was quite good, understated even, given her occasional propensity for scenery chewing in these types of films.

 

I agree with the whole Southern gothic sub-thread running through here as noted by Bronxgirl and others. I think one reason the cast didn't get out of the house more was because the house actually was almost another character in the film, particularly with its "dark shadows" falling upon all the cast members at one time or another. Not until after the climactic rain storm do the shadows seem to be dispelled, perhaps for good.

 

I think Betsy Palmer didn't have her own apartment because she was functioning as the children's nanny.

 

Notice also that apart from Joan's first entrance near the film's beginning, she has no interraction with the children at all. I think that, to her character's way of thinking, they served only as props or window dressing for her in her position as a Southern aristocrat. She seemed to be kind to them but other than that, showed little interest in them.

 

I also enjoyed seeing Fay Wray again. She makes the most of her rather smallish role her as she neared the end of career.

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