The Damned Don't Cry (1950)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
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as Ethel Whitehead / Loran Hansen Forbes
as George Castleman / Joe Caveny
as Nick Prenta
as Martin Blankford
as Patricia Longworth
as Jim Whitehead
as Walter Talbot
as Maitre d'Hotel
as Taxi Driver
as Johnny Enders
as Mrs. Castleman
as Roy Whitehead
as Mrs. Whitehead
as Springboard diver
Critic Reviews for The Damned Don't Cry
Like the star in question, this diva showcase knows what it is and what it's good at.
Audience Reviews for The Damned Don't Cry
Not my favourite, but still pretty good. It did seem to me, as mentioned by another reviewer here, that she seemed a little old here for the part. That's the worst thing I could say. As always, very good acting and interesting story about a cold, calculating social climber (though she doesn't start out that way). Life drives her to it, I guess.
"the damned don't cry" is the ultimate epitome of joan crawford's irreconcilable womanhood in its hybridized maximum: ghetto mother's heart-aching tale as foreshadowing, then the brazen survivor attitude as she utters "the world is not for nice guys", and the flattering success proceeds afterwards, and eventually her social-climber dream crushes into irreparable ruin by backstabbing mobster feuds. inevitably, it has a moral message to be delivered: every sin has a price to be paid.
crawford this time begins as a affectionate mother in a poor family, striving to earn a living, heartbroken by her son's sudden demise after her stingy husband refuses to grant the boy a bicycle for christmas. (analogous to "mildred pierce") then crawford is determined to wrestle her way thru the city jungle, utilizing her sex appeal to pebble prominent men toward the top of the world. it's intertwined with gangster genre as crawford becomes the moll who tumbles over two mobster heads when one and another are keen to doublecross and eliminate each other.
"the damned don't cry" could be a closure for joan crawford's tough gun-posing dame image initiated by award-winning "mildred pierce". and also she gives another perfect interpretation of being "cheap and hard" but this time there's no agreeable ending for redemption or salvation as her character no longer slaps men or women around, and she even receives the rumination of being bludgeoned to bruises then rots in the gutter at last with a gun wound.
this is also crawford's final cooperation with director vincent sherman (whom she also had an affair with) and b-actor david brian, and crawford exploits her last draining potentialty at her golden period in 1940s, so there's nothing innovative she could really launch upon this genre until her revival in "sudden fear" and her tentative trial fir musical in "torch song". it is worth watching as a dirge of the 40s crawfordian icon, as its title suggests, the damned shall never cry but lives just like joan crawford wouldn't cease to re-invent herself in this merciless cinematic field with discriminative men.
Being the Joan Crawford detractor that I am it would be easy for me to point out that this film was initially intended to feature a 19 year old actress, and that the part was rewritten at Miss Crawford's insistence. It would also be easy to highlight the lack of big name co-stars, leaving 'Joan Crawford' auspiciously large and unchallenged on all the promotional material. Yes, I could focus on all that AND the fact that she romanced the director off-camera, ensuring herself a level of control in all matters pertaining to the picture. But, for once, I'm above all that. Let me say instead that portraying a conniving, manipulative bitch intent on sleeping her way to the top wasn't really much of a stretch for the talented but manically egotistical Miss C. Oh by the way, The Damned Don't Cry is a VERY good film. :)
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