Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Strait-Jacket

 1964 ***

When Lucy Harbin came home unexpectedly and caught her cheating husband in bed with a younger woman she lost her head, and then they lost theirs. Lucy took an axe and whacked both of their heads off. Unbeknownst to her, her daughter Carol was awake and witnessed the whole thing. Twenty years later Lucy is released and comes back home to live with her brother Bill and his wife as well as her own daughter Carol, now a grown woman. Tell tale signs reveal that Lucy may not be quite as ready for life on the outside as her doctor believed. It might be wise to keep the axe well hidden.


I should have loved this, I expected I would but I really didn't. Not that axe wielding Joan Crawford isn't totally awesome because it is, it was Joan Crawford trying to do crazy that was a little too much. It was like watching Ms. Crawford trying to do her best Bette Davis but Bette just does it oh so much better. Joan does much better as the sane sister opposite Bette's crazy in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? I have tremendous respect for both women when it comes to acting and it just seemed a shame to me to watch this fine actress' talent wasted as she wallowed out of her element.



On a side note it was great to see a young George Kennedy gleefully chopping a chickens head off while Joan looked on in horror. There's also a nice play on the Lizzie Borden 40 whacks kids song as it is adapted just for head chopping Lucy. Admittedly, my rating may be a bit harsh but as a fan of this fine actress' work I can honestly say I've seen better. Still, it's well worth a viewing.

8 comments:

Octopunk said...

I can't claim to be a Joan Crawford expert but I love this movie. Watched it for the 2004 pre-blog 'thon. It has a great oh-my-god-what's-this-crazy-hallucination-oh-my-god-it's-actually-real scene.

Catfreeek said...

It really does have some great stuff in it but she is just so much better in her straight element. I think of her in Mildred Pierce and this performance just isn't her best. The movie is really good but watch Baby Jane and you'll see how much better it is.

JPX said...

I loved this movie as well although I agree that it is strictly a b-movie. This was the one I was trying to think of the other day when read your Hush Hush review. Good review!

Johnny Sweatpants said...

I love Whatever Happened to Baby Jane too but I still think Strait-Jacket is a bona fide classic! Good review, despite you're incorrect opinion.

JPX said...

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Catfreeek said...

Woohoo!

AC said...

i don't think i've ever seen a joan crawford movie or a bette davis movie. sounds like i'm missing out.

JPX said...

You are, AC! Start with Whatever Happened to Baby Jane!