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MOVIE: Possessed (1947)

Story by: Rita Weiman

Screenplay by Silvia Richards and Ranald MacDougall

Directed by Curtis Bernhardt

Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey, Geraldine Brooks, Gerald Perreau

Joan Crawford plays insanity well! When the viewer first meets Louise Howell (Crawford), she is on her way to a mental institution.  From there the past unfolds.

Private nurse Louise works for the wealthy Graham family. We never meet Mrs. Graham, who is suffering from depression, but her mental anguish is clear as she taunts Louise. The nurse takes it all in stride. You see she is in love.

The object of her affection is David Sutton (Heflin) the piano playing engineer and acquaintance of the Graham family. When the charming Sutton admits he doesn’t feel quite the same way about Louise, she vows she will have him whatever it takes.

Sutton leaves to work in Canada, Mrs. Graham commits suicide in the lake surrounding the house and Dean Graham (Massey) move the family to Washington. Louise is asked to move in and take charge of little boy Wynn (Perreau).

Graham falls in love with Louise, and while she admits to not loving him, the two agree to wed and try to make each other happy. Such were the times. But, when Sutton returns and starts to court Graham’s beautiful twenty-year-old daughter, Carol, Louise’s new life starts to unravel.

Watch the camera angles and listen to the intensely dramatic music in this film noir. Both grab the viewer and pull deep.