Harriet Craig

  • 1950
  • 1 HR 34 MIN
  • NR
  • Drama

This disturbing, yet sinfully engrossing, third screen adaptation of the 1925 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Craig's Wife" (previously filmed in 1928 and 1936) is enhanced by hindsight, specifically by contemporary allegations about the real life and personality of the film's star, Joan Crawford (exaggeratedly dramatized in the 1981 cult favorite MOMMIE DEAREST)....read more

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This disturbing, yet sinfully engrossing, third screen adaptation of the 1925 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Craig's Wife" (previously filmed in 1928 and 1936) is enhanced by hindsight, specifically by contemporary allegations about the real life and personality of the film's star, Joan

Crawford (exaggeratedly dramatized in the 1981 cult favorite MOMMIE DEAREST). Crawford was born to play the title character, an insufferably domineering housewife obsessed with controlling the running and maintenance of her luxurious home. Trapped in her shrewish grip is Corey, her hard-working,

mild-mannered husband, who slowly comes to realize his wife's true nature. As Crawford's compulsive neuroses begin to spin out of anyone's control, Corey begins to resent her control--every aspect of which, from the clothes he wears to the decisions he makes at work, is guided by Crawford, who

will accept no interference with her authority. While professing undying love and devotion to Corey, Crawford really resents his existence, having developed a hatred of men as a result of her father's desertion when she was young. As time passes, her domination becomes near-psychotic, to the

extent that she even sabotages Corey's chances for a long-awaited promotion, fearing it would cause too many changes to her life. Crawford also ruins her cousin Stevens' romance with Bishop and wrecks her husband's long-standing relationship with his best friend, Joslyn. Eventually, Corey comes

out of his fog and sees Crawford for what she is. Grabbing her favorite vase, he smashes it on the floor and walks out, leaving Crawford alone in her big, perfectly decorated mausoleum. Crawford is superb in this film, and her performance saves HARRIET CRAIG from being just another filmed stage

melodrama. The star's work is particularly commendable concerning the difficulty of her role; Harriet is so selfish and unsympathetic that one almost wants to leave the theater rather than witness the continuing machinations of this deeply disturbed woman. Crawford, however (and Rosalind Russell

before her), is able to bring a subtle sympathy to her portrayal, drawing viewers in with a perverse fascination.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This disturbing, yet sinfully engrossing, third screen adaptation of the 1925 Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Craig's Wife" (previously filmed in 1928 and 1936) is enhanced by hindsight, specifically by contemporary allegations about the real life and persona… (more)

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