Possessed (1947) - Rotten Tomatoes

Possessed (1947)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

We first meet Joan Crawford, star of the moody flashbackfest Possessed, wandering aimlessly through the city streets, moaning "David....David." She goes to pieces in public and is rushed to the mental ward, where a team of psychiatrists try to find out who she is and where she's been. Who she is is a practical nurse, hired by Raymond Massey to care for Massey's invalid wife. While going about her duties, Crawford renews her acquaintance with an old flame, architect Van Heflin. Though Heflin is indifferent, Crawford is still crazy for the man. She remains so even after marrying her employer Massey, whose wife has committed suicide. Any further details would give away the ending, but we can note that Van Heflin's character name is David. Best scene: Crawford, descending into schizophrenia, imagining that she's killed Massey's vitriolic daughter Geraldine Brooks. While the psycho-babble delivered in the asylum scenes is laughable, Possessed still holds up well as one of the best of Joan Crawford's Warner Bros. soap operas. This black-and-white film is also available in a colorized version, but don't blame us.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics
Directed By: ,
Written By: Silvia Richards, Ranald MacDougall
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 14, 2005
Warner Bros. Pictures


Joan Crawford
as Louise Howell
Van Heflin
as David Sutton
Raymond Massey
as Dean Graham
Geraldine Brooks
as Carol Graham
Nana Bryant
as Pauline Graham
Erskine Sanford
as Dr. Max Sherman
Peter Miles
as Wynn Graham
Isabel Withers
as Nurse Rosen
Lisa Golm
as Elsie
Douglas Kennedy
as Assistant District A...
Monte Blue
as Caretaker
Don McGuire
as Dr. Craig
Rory Mallinson
as Coroner's Assistant
Ralph Dunn
as Motorman
Max Wagner
as Man in Cafe
Richard Bartell
as Man in Cafe
Frank Marlowe
as Proprietor
Rose Plummer
as Woman in Cafe
James Conaty
as Foreman
Creighton Hale
as Secretary
Jane Harker
as 1st College Girl
Martha Montgomery
as 2nd College Girl
Tristram Coffin
as Man at Concert
Jacob Gimpel
as Walter Sveldon
Henry Sylvester
as Dean's Secretary
Sarah Padden
as Caretaker's Wife
Eddie Hart
as Bartender
Paul Bradley
as Wedding Guest
Peggy Leon
as Wedding Guest
Jeffrey Sayre
as Dance Extra
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Possessed

Critic Reviews for Possessed

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

It's a role that Crawford was born to play, but ultimately the film is too campy to be memorable.

Full Review… | June 12, 2005

Possessed does have a few very good insights into the self-abasing aggressiveness of unrequited love.

Full Review… | June 7, 2005
Slant Magazine

Too heavy with German stimmung.

Full Review… | December 19, 2003
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

July 18, 2005

Audience Reviews for Possessed


What a great film to see for Mother's day! Crawford's obsession and descent to madness is quite believable. Van Heflin has all the great lines and plays the rakish cad perfectly.

Stefanie C

Super Reviewer


I was completly expecting a different thing. Something between paranormal and suspense...but no. The movie is about this woman with serious mental problems. Filmed back in 1947 but impecable directed, the camera angles are great. Almost everything is really good, the acting, the cinematography, the story. The end I feel that needs a little more punch, but well, minor detail. So rent it, look for it or buy it. Oh!, and Geraldine Brooks...O_O wow.

Sergio Garcia

Super Reviewer

Excellent movie, I loved how this was filmed - the whole beginning of the movie as she wanders down the street half crazy reminded me of photography,
Truly an enthralling movie, following Louise (Joan Crawford), who is obsessed with the caddish David and driven to insanity by having to watch him with her daughter in law, or maybe by Schizophrenia, who is to know which came first?!
One of the best old movies I have seen, not far short of Mildred Pierce.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Possessed Quotes

– Submitted by Wellington O (3 years ago)

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