Join or Sign In

Sign in to customize your TV listings

Continue with Facebook Continue with email

By joining TV Guide, you agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

Possessed Reviews

Sixteen years before the release of this film, Crawford starred with Clark Gable in another picture titled POSSESSED, but though the two films are often confused, it was Crawford's work in this one that earned her an Oscar nomination. Found dazed on a street in downtown Los Angeles, Crawford is taken to a local hospital, where doctors use drug therapy get to the root of distraught cries for "David." In flashback, the film then reveals the events that have brought Crawford to this state. Crawford, who works as an in-house nurse for invalid Bryant, wife of the wealthy Massey, is mad about engineer Heflin. However, Heflin doesn't feel as strongly about Crawford as she does about him and, put off by her possessiveness, he breaks off their relationship. Crawford threatens Heflin, but he leaves and takes a job in Canada anyway. Meanwhile, Bryant--who is as mentally unstable as Crawford is--imagines Massey and Crawford are having an affair. It's all in her mind, but that doesn't stop Bryant from drowning herself. Crawford remains in the house as governess and general housekeeper for Perreau. Massey's oldest child, Brooks, is away at school, but Bryant had written of her suspicions concerning Crawford and Massey, and Brooks believes them. When Heflin returns to accept a job with Massey, Crawford again pursues the engineer, and again Heflin fends her off. In an interesting turn of events, Massey asks for Crawford's hand. Although Crawford accepts the proposal, she won't go through with the ceremony until Brooks gives her consent. After the wedding, Heflin begins to court Brooks, who has no idea of Crawford's feelings for Heflin. As a result of this development, Crawford's mind snaps and she begins seeing and hearing things and imagining that Bryant is still alive. Failing to break up Brooks and Heflin, Crawford goes to Heflin's apartment and shoots him dead. At the this point the film flashes forward to the mental hospital, where psychiatrist Ridges has listened to Crawford's tale and determined that the patient was not mentally responsible for her actions. It's clear that Crawford will need lots of therapy, but it also looks as if she may recover. Bernhardt's direction is moody and atmospheric and the switching between reality and Crawford's delusions is effective.