Possessed (1947)

108-109 mins | Melodrama | 26 July 1947

Director:

Curtis Bernhardt

Producer:

Jerry Wald

Cinematographers:

Joseph Valentine, Sid Hickox

Editor:

Rudi Fehr

Production Designer:

Anton Grot

Production Company:

Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
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HISTORY

The film's working titles were The Secret and One Man's Secret . According to a press release dated 5 Apr 1944, Ida Lupino, Paul Lukas and Sydney Greenstreet were to star in the film. A 6 Aug 1946 HR news item reports that production closed on the film for several weeks due to Joan Crawford's illness with strep throat. The item also notes that Crawford asked to have director of photography Sid Hickox replaced. Joseph Valentine took over from Hickox after the latter had worked for 38 days. Although Joan Crawford appeared in a 1931 film of the same title, it is unrelated to this film. Crawford received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her ... More Less

The film's working titles were The Secret and One Man's Secret . According to a press release dated 5 Apr 1944, Ida Lupino, Paul Lukas and Sydney Greenstreet were to star in the film. A 6 Aug 1946 HR news item reports that production closed on the film for several weeks due to Joan Crawford's illness with strep throat. The item also notes that Crawford asked to have director of photography Sid Hickox replaced. Joseph Valentine took over from Hickox after the latter had worked for 38 days. Although Joan Crawford appeared in a 1931 film of the same title, it is unrelated to this film. Crawford received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
7 Jun 1947.
---
Daily Variety
29 May 1947.
---
Film Daily
3 Jun 47
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
16 Jul 45
p. 10.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
15 Aug 46
p. 1.
Hollywood Reporter
29 May 47
p. 3.
Independent Film Journal
22 Jun 46
p. 35.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
31 May 47
p. 3653.
New York Times
22 Sep 1946.
---
New York Times
30 May 47
p. 25.
Variety
4 Jun 47
p. 16.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
A Warner Bros.--First National Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Set dec
COSTUMES
Miss Crawford's ward
MUSIC
Orch arr
SOUND
Talking sd by
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff dir
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Unit mgr
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novelette "One Man's Secret" by Rita Weiman in Hearst's International-Cosmopolitan (Mar 1943).
AUTHOR
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Secret
One Mans Secret
Release Date:
26 July 1947
Premiere Information:
New York opening: week of 29 May 1947
Production Date:
mid June--26 July
19 August--early November 1946
Copyright Claimant:
Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
26 July 1947
Copyright Number:
LP1160
Physical Properties:
Sound
RCA Sound System
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
108-109
Country:
United States
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

After deeply disturbed Louise Howell is brought to the psychiatric ward of a hospital, Dr. Harvey Willard persuades her to relate the events leading up to her breakdown: In Washington state, Louise, who works as a nurse for the emotionally disturbed wife of Dean Graham, is in love with engineer David Sutton and wants to marry him, but he does not return her love and, annoyed by her possessiveness, ends their relationship. David then asks Graham, who does not know of his affair with Louise, to recommend him for a job in Canada. Louise overhears their conversation and later begs David to take her with him to Canada. Sometime later, Graham's wife Pauline drowns herself while Louise is away in the village. That night, still upset by David's behavior, Louise thinks she hears the woman calling her, but the voice belongs to Graham's daughter Carol, who accuses Louise of having an affair with her father. After the funeral, Graham asks Louise to stay on and care for his young son Wynn. When David returns from Canada, Louise is greatly upset and quits. Graham, however, tells her that he has fallen in love with her and wants to marry her, and although she does not love him, Louise agrees. Before the ceremony, Carol apologizes for her suspicions and adds that Pauline's doctor explained that the woman's jealousy was a symptom of her illness. One evening Louise and Carol encounter David at a concert. Disturbed by the meeting, Louise leaves early and suffers a hallucination in which she fantasizes that Carol and David are in love and plotting against her, and ... +


After deeply disturbed Louise Howell is brought to the psychiatric ward of a hospital, Dr. Harvey Willard persuades her to relate the events leading up to her breakdown: In Washington state, Louise, who works as a nurse for the emotionally disturbed wife of Dean Graham, is in love with engineer David Sutton and wants to marry him, but he does not return her love and, annoyed by her possessiveness, ends their relationship. David then asks Graham, who does not know of his affair with Louise, to recommend him for a job in Canada. Louise overhears their conversation and later begs David to take her with him to Canada. Sometime later, Graham's wife Pauline drowns herself while Louise is away in the village. That night, still upset by David's behavior, Louise thinks she hears the woman calling her, but the voice belongs to Graham's daughter Carol, who accuses Louise of having an affair with her father. After the funeral, Graham asks Louise to stay on and care for his young son Wynn. When David returns from Canada, Louise is greatly upset and quits. Graham, however, tells her that he has fallen in love with her and wants to marry her, and although she does not love him, Louise agrees. Before the ceremony, Carol apologizes for her suspicions and adds that Pauline's doctor explained that the woman's jealousy was a symptom of her illness. One evening Louise and Carol encounter David at a concert. Disturbed by the meeting, Louise leaves early and suffers a hallucination in which she fantasizes that Carol and David are in love and plotting against her, and that she killed Pauline. A worried Louise secretly consults a doctor, who diagnoses neurasthenia and possible schizophrenia and recommends that she consult a psychiatrist. When she returns home, Louise asks Graham for a divorce, but he is convinced that a vacation will take care of her problems. They return to the beach house where Pauline died, and Louise imagines that Pauline is commanding her to kill herself. When Graham asks why Louise is afraid of Pauline, she confesses that she helped Pauline to the water and watched as she drowned. To Louise's relief, Graham insists that she was in the village at the time of Pauline's death and had nothing to do with it. Later, when Graham and Louise go dancing, they encounter Carol and David, who have just become engaged. Afterward, Louise tells Carol that David is in love with her, although Carol refuses to believe it. An angry David confronts Louise and threatens to tell Graham about their affair. That night, Graham asks Louise to see a friend of his who is a psychiatrist. Louise agrees, but then runs away to David's house, where she shoots and kills him. After she finishes her story, Graham, who has been summoned by Willard, arrives at the hospital. Willard tells him that Louise can be cured, and Graham promises to stay by her side. +

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

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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.