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Possessed" starring Joan Crawford showing tomorrow night, Aug. 21


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I sure hope the TCM people run the correct, advertised 1931 "Possessed" and not the 1947 "Possessed" which also stars Joan Crawford. TCM has a history of running the incorrect same or similarly-named movie (ie: "Castle in the Air" which they've messed up on not once but twice).

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Shoot.

 

I was kind of hoping it was the '47 version (it's one of those inn-teresting films, as many of Joan's post- Mildred vehicles were, that I can watch over and over and over again.) For the record: I think the 1947 Possessed originally had a different title, as I've seen pics of Joan doing wardrobe tests in her nurse outfit standing next to a clipboard that had a different title on it (can't recall it tho')

 

The 1931 version is pretty good though, one of the few good roles Crawford got at MGM before they stuck her in the mediocre run of "comedies" and "musicals" that went up to 1938. She's terrific in it, and along with Grand Hotel , Rain and Sadie McKee it's one of her best early roles- strong-willed, feminist in the vein of something Stanwyck or Davis would've done, and she's gorgeous in it.

 

I'm glad at least that they're not showing Mildred Pierce (AGAIN!) in the prime 8 pm slot, but the one tomorrow that I'm really looking forward to is the rarely shown The Story of Esther Costello , which I've never seen and comes from the late 50's "dry spell" Joan experienced post- Female on the Beach

 

Anyone know if it's any good?

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}I think POSSESSED is the only instance of two different films with the same title, starring the same star.

i can think of one other. Joan Blondell was in a movie version of her hit Broadway play 'Penny Arcade' in 1930 that the studio then decided to rename 'Sinner's Holiday'. Fast-forward to 1947- Blondell co-starred in a George Raft movie called 'Christmas Eve' which was later re-released as, you guessed it, 'Sinner's Holiday'. Other than the same title, the 2 movies have nothing in common.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}......and to yet another new level. If you can't think of any more, I'll bet there AREN'T any more.

 

Okay, just thought of more:

THE UNHOLY THREE (1925 & 1930) - Lon Chaney and Harry Earles are in both versions.

INTERMEZZO (1936 & 1939) - Ingrid Bergman in both.

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1956 & 1978) - Kevin McCarthy is in both.

But it might be more challenging to think of examples in which the latter of the two films is not a remake of the former.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}You mean, in most of those on your list, the latter IS a remake of the former? I know that's the case with INTERMEZZO.

That was the case with the second list I posted - they are remakes, but not with the first list - they are not remakes.

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I just saw this for the second time. I liked the train sequence in the beginning, and I don't think I've ever seen Joan Crawford look so lovely on screen, at least not in her younger years (she was quite attractive as Mildred Pierce but was 40-ish by then). It was a nice sight after seeing her frightening appearance in Torch Song earlier today, let me tell you!

 

BLU

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......and to yet another new level. If you can't think of any more, I'll bet there AREN'T any more.

 

Lon Chaney, Jr. played in two versions of TEN FATHOMS DEEP, but in the first he was the hero and in the second one he was the villain.

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Yes, that train window sequence in the beginning was great. Like a catalogue page of what the small town girl would like to be a part of in her life.

 

That Governor's campaign speech at the end, in the big auditorium, looked like the same kind of scene from Citizen Kane, including the wide shots showing all the people and the big auditorium, and the scandal associated with the candidate. I expected Clark Gable to shout, "I'm Charles Foster Kane!!

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*I don't think I've ever seen Joan Crawford look so lovely on screen, at least not in her younger years*

 

During the height of her popularity (the early-mid 30s), Joan was very beautiful IMHO. Later she began to exhagerate her features more and more. Most people today think of her only of her iconic (and much less attractive IMO) later periods.

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Incidentally, Howard Hawks directed two unrelated films called "The Road To Glory" -- one a silent in 1926 (starring May McAvoy, later of "The Jazz Singer" fame; a teenaged Carole Lombard also had a small role, eight years before her triumph with Hawks in "Twentieth Century"), the other an adventure film in 1936.

 

Following up on that line of facts, actress Jacqueline Obradors appeared in a film titled CROSSING OVER in 1996 and another unrelated film of the same title in 2009.

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Just watched the 1931 version of Possessed for the first time, and it's one of the best examples I've seen of both the strengths and weaknesses of many of the pre-code films.

 

The strengths are obvious: The gritty depictions of the real world, as in the opening factory scene, and especially with that marvelous depiction of Crawford peering in through the train windows, and being told that the only two types of people are "those on the inside looking out, and those on the outside looking in". Lines like that are what will always define pre-code films to me. They don't pull punches.

 

Except when they do: After the entire film is taken up with an honest depiction of a powerful man (Gable) and his kept woman (Crawford), you can almost see the invisible hand of the censor at work with that last scene. I'm not talking about Crawford's speech at the rally, which was both dramatic and within the context of her character. I'm talking about the fact that it took about *two seconds* after that for their entire relationship to be sealed with a kiss, a promise and a hasty *"THE END"*. You couldn't help but feel that this was a sop to the censors, who were much more forgiving of *portrayals* of adultery than they were in the Breen era, but who also seemed to insist that the knot always be tied in the closing scene. It was like the pre-code version of The Grand Bargain, and though you have to accept it as part of the package, it's still a bit jarring when it happens before you can blink twice.

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Watched and enjoyed this last night. A couple of comments:

1. Am I the only one who could not stop humming "Single Ladies" while watching this? I think not. If you like it, then you shoulda put a ring on it Clark Gable.

2. I'm confused by Ben Mankiewicz's commentary after the film. He said that this movie had to be changed to please the British Film Board because of it's light treatment of adultery. Adultery? Neither of them were married. He was divorced and didn't want to get married again. This was brought up several times. The controversy was that they were, in the lingo of the day, "playing house".

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Andy, I just had to chime in that your review of POSSESSED (1931) was excellent!!! Thank you!

 

I haven't had a chance to see this yet (on the DVR) and I'd only seen it a LONG time ago when it aired on the pre-TCM TNT channel, replete with ad breaks. I'm really looking forward to re-visiting it!

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From Flamingo Road (1949) *

 

LANE: "I need a job. I can wait tables, I can handle customers...I can even sing a little in a pinch."

LUTE MAE: "Yeah, I was afraid of that."

 

J'adore Flamingo Road and j'adore Gladys George.

 

*- paraphrased from memory, for all you sticklers out there (and I know there are many)

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LOL. And she did sing (a little)!! My favorite scene is when Joan ***** slaps Sydney Greenstreet (who looks on the verge of heart attack in every scene he's in......sweating profusely........)

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