Woman Obsessed (1959)

102-103 mins | Melodrama | May 1959

Full page view
HISTORY

The working title of this film was The Snow Birch . Although the picture was filmed in color, the print viewed was in black and white. According to HR production charts, filming began in late Dec 1958, but was then suspended until early Jan 1959. Although a Jan 1959 HR production chart places Joanna Heyes in the cast, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Leon Shamroy replaced William Mellor as photographer after it was discovered that Mellor was suffering from a brain tumor, according to a Mar 1959 DV news item. Studio publicity contained in the film's production files at the AMPAS Library notes that some scenes were shot at Big Bear, ... More Less

The working title of this film was The Snow Birch . Although the picture was filmed in color, the print viewed was in black and white. According to HR production charts, filming began in late Dec 1958, but was then suspended until early Jan 1959. Although a Jan 1959 HR production chart places Joanna Heyes in the cast, her appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Leon Shamroy replaced William Mellor as photographer after it was discovered that Mellor was suffering from a brain tumor, according to a Mar 1959 DV news item. Studio publicity contained in the film's production files at the AMPAS Library notes that some scenes were shot at Big Bear, CA. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
8 Jun 1959.
---
Daily Variety
25 Feb 1959.
---
Daily Variety
11 Mar 1959.
---
Daily Variety
21 May 59
p. 3.
Film Daily
22 May 59
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
19 Dec 58
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jan 59
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Jan 59
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 59
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 59
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
23 May 59
p. 276.
New York Times
28 May 59
p. 34.
Variety
27 May 59
p. 6.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCER
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Exec ward des
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Hair styles
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col consultant
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Snow Birch by John Mantley (New York, 1958).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Snow Birch
Release Date:
May 1959
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 27 May 1959
Production Date:
early January--late February 1959
Copyright Claimant:
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp.
Copyright Date:
21 May 1959
Copyright Number:
LP13571
Physical Properties:
Sound
Westrex Recording System
Color
De Luxe
Widescreen/ratio
CinemaScope
Lenses/Prints
lenses by Bausch & Lomb
Duration(in mins):
102-103
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
19238
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Young Robbie Sharron, a sensitive boy with an abiding love of animals, resides on his family farm in the Canadian woods with his mother Mary and father Tom. One day, a threatening cloud signifying fire appears on the horizon, sending the animals scampering to safety. Tom joins his compatriots to save the blazing forest, but when he dies in the conflagration, Mary is left to run the farm by herself. Grieving and overwhelmed by responsibility, Mary places an ad in the paper for a farm hand. Her ad is answered by Fred Carter, a taciturn, itinerent laborer, who offers to help until Mary can find a permanent manager. Robbie takes an instant dislike to the stern, unsmiling Fred, and one day, Mary visits Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs in town to inquire about her new employee. Mrs. Gibbs disapproves of Fred, whose wife died six years earlier when their house caught fire. Winter comes, and Mary drives into town to buy shirts for Fred and some frilly fabric to make herself a dress. At the general store, clerk Mayme Radzevitch, one of Fred's many girl friends, makes a snide remark about Mary abandoning her widow's weeds. As Mary and Robbie drive home, a raging blizzard hits and the horse pulling their wagon bolts. The horse runs back to the farm, alerting Fred, who then trudges through knee-deep snow, calling for Mary. Upon finding Mary and Robbie unconscious and buried in the snow, Fred carries them home and puts them to bed. The incident creates a new closeness, and Fred offers to take the family to a carnival. There, Fred ... +


Young Robbie Sharron, a sensitive boy with an abiding love of animals, resides on his family farm in the Canadian woods with his mother Mary and father Tom. One day, a threatening cloud signifying fire appears on the horizon, sending the animals scampering to safety. Tom joins his compatriots to save the blazing forest, but when he dies in the conflagration, Mary is left to run the farm by herself. Grieving and overwhelmed by responsibility, Mary places an ad in the paper for a farm hand. Her ad is answered by Fred Carter, a taciturn, itinerent laborer, who offers to help until Mary can find a permanent manager. Robbie takes an instant dislike to the stern, unsmiling Fred, and one day, Mary visits Dr. and Mrs. Gibbs in town to inquire about her new employee. Mrs. Gibbs disapproves of Fred, whose wife died six years earlier when their house caught fire. Winter comes, and Mary drives into town to buy shirts for Fred and some frilly fabric to make herself a dress. At the general store, clerk Mayme Radzevitch, one of Fred's many girl friends, makes a snide remark about Mary abandoning her widow's weeds. As Mary and Robbie drive home, a raging blizzard hits and the horse pulling their wagon bolts. The horse runs back to the farm, alerting Fred, who then trudges through knee-deep snow, calling for Mary. Upon finding Mary and Robbie unconscious and buried in the snow, Fred carries them home and puts them to bed. The incident creates a new closeness, and Fred offers to take the family to a carnival. There, Fred confides to Mary that he never attended a carnival as a child, and in fact, was the son of an abusive father and ran away with his younger brother before finishing high school. Soon after, Fred learns that the town is gossiping about his living at the farm, and starts to propose to Mary. Mary, panicked and fearful of betraying her late husband, stops him, and Fred, feeling rejected, angrily smashes the barn door. Later, Mary reconsiders and asks Robbie's permission to marry Fred, and after the boy gives her his blessings, Mary goes to the barn and accepts Fred's proposal. When Robbie sees his mother kiss Fred during their wedding ceremony, however, he becomes sullen and jealous. Trying to bond with the boy, Fred offers to buy him a hunting rifle, but when Robbie rejects his offer, Fred lashes out at him. One night, a deer is attacked by a mountain lion, and Robbie watches in horror as Fred shoots down the injured animal. Fred then forces the boy to witness him skinning the deer, and Robbie screams and faints in shock. Drawn by the sound of her son's distress, Mary cradles the boy in her arms and carries him off in a fury. When Fred insists that Robbie is just a coward and is faking his illness, Mary slaps him and he retaliates with a powerful blow that sends her reeling to the floor. Later, Dr. Gibbs comes to question Fred about his treatment of Robbie. When Fred charges the boy with cowardice and states that he reminds him of another coward, the doctor wonders what caused Fred to become so bitter. That night, Fred tries to reconcile with Mary and asserts that what he did was for the boy's own good. When Mary slams the bedroom door in his face, Fred, furious, breaks it down and rapes her. The next morning, Fred tries to apologize, but Mary retorts that she will never forgive him for filling her son with fear and hate. After Mary refuses to speak to Fred again, he storms out of the house. Later, the doctor comes for a visit and Mary confides that she is pregnant with Fred's unwanted baby. In town, Fred incites a fight, and after slamming his opponent to the floor, is arrested and jailed. After his release, a contrite Fred returns to the farm and promises to leave after harvesting the crops. As a storm brews, Robbie runs out into the woods and is caught in the downpour. Worried about her son, Mary runs out into the rain looking for him and collapses in pain. Hearing her cries, Fred comes to her rescue, and she tells him she has suffered a miscarriage. In the squalling storm, Fred carries Mary six miles to the doctor's house and then collapses. When Fred regains consciousness, Dr. Gibbs tells him that Mary has survived and then assures him that Robbie's behavior is that of a normal boy and not a coward. Promising to find the missing Robbie, Fred braves the raging river to reach the farm. As Fred risks his life to find her son, Dr. Gibbs chastises Mary for failing to try to understand her husband. The doctor then explains that Fred despises cowardice because his brother, who could not stand the sight of blood, left Fred's bloodied wife to perish in their house fire. After crossing the river, Fred finds Robbie, but the boy runs from him and tricks him into falling into a pit of quicksand. As Fred sinks into the slime, Robbie extends a log and begs Fred to try to pull himself to safety. Robbie's concern inspires the defeated Fred, who drags himself onto solid land and then hugs the boy. When Mary returns to the farm, Fred is reluctant to face her. After Mary seeks Fred out, he promises he will never stop loving her, and after she swears that she really wanted his baby, they embrace. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.