11 responses to “Barbara Stanwyck, Crime of Passion, and What Goes on (and Doesn’t) Behind the Eyes”

  1. […] Anyway, I’ll be back later today with my writeup on Crime of Passion. [Edit to add: the review is here.] […]

  2. You’re right, the film never really does find its legs as it juggles several genres but the cast just over-achieves and perseveres, kicking it several notches up for its like minded brethren. Great flick.

  3. Sounds like an intriguing combination of genres – yet another Stanwyck film that I haven’t seen, but I hope to do so soon. Enjoyed your review and I look forward to seeing the combination of Stanwyck and Hayden in this.

  4. Wonderful and well-written review. I like your description of Sterling Hayden as an “odd, dangerous mix of rumpled schlub and attack dog” — so true! I also laughed out loud when you said Bette Davis was always aware that she was Bette Davis. I adore Ms Davis, but you are so right about that.

    I like this movie, although it’s a bit disappointing in spots. The performances, however, are top-notch. Stanwyck makes every movie better, no matter the script or direction.

    I’m glad you included this in the blogathon. :)

  5. Very good write-up on this film. For women of my generation the passion in this film is the desperate determination not to let this happen to you.

    I first saw the movie as a young teen and although then the 60s, those suburban cocktail scenes reflected with horrifying accuracy the world we saw our mothers living in, the future we couldn’t bear imagining for ourselves.

    Stanwyck’s face as the wives drone on and on show her fighting that mind-numbing barrage of banality, the future of unending inanity before her. I felt just as soul sick and terrified as she did turning white and running from the room.

    Of course you’d shoot someone to get away from that. This movie confirmed my resolve: As god is my witness, I’ll never be a housewife.

  6. Thank you, John, for such an intriguing, well-thought-out entry for the Stanwyck Blogathon. After watching this movie, I really felt like handing a copy of it to anyone that believes people in the 50s were all innocent, smiling suburban chumps. The portrayal of housewives here is really more scathing and cruel than anything the post-Stepford Wife era would come up with. And it came out in the 50s so clearly the idea that suburban life was a trap was alive and well even at the time. Personally, I think it goes a little over the top, but then, it’s really just Kathy’s perception of the wives. The film never quite kicks into full gear but I do think Hayden and Stanwyck have a nice, quietly simmering chemistry that makes their relationship believable. Burr on the other hand, never seems passionately invested in the affair. I think you’ve done an admirable job of weighing the movie’s strong and weak points here. It’s an interesting little noir even if it doesn’t completely hit all its marks.

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