Crime of Passion

Crime of Passion

Blu-ray Disc - 2017 | Blu-ray version
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Kathy leaves the newspaper business to marry homicide detective Bill but is frustrated by his lack of ambition and the banality of life in the suburbs. Her drive to advance Bill's career soon takes her down a dangerous path.
Audience: OFA rating: PG.
Publisher: Lincoln CA : Classic Flix, 2017.
Edition: Blu-ray version
Branch Call Number: Blu-ray FIC Crime
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (86 min.) : digital, sound, black and white ; 12 cm
Language Note: Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


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Feb 07, 2020

Barbara Stanwyck owns the screen in this 1956 noir. She is gritty, ambitious Kathy - a newspaper columnist in San Francisco. She meets the statuesque, deep-voiced Bill (Sterling Hayden), a Los Angeles homicide detective. She gives up her big-city career for a suburban existence. But, she finds the lifestyle boring. She can't stand another dinner party with neighbors and all the small talk. So, Kathy decides to scramble more than just eggs. Strong performances all around including Raymond Burr and Fay Wray in key roles. Gerd Oswald directs this beautifully shot film with all the cinematic noir elements - shadows and oblique angles. Oswald would go on to direct Burr on TV a few years later in "Perry Mason." German-born Oswald immigrated to the U.S. as a young man. Leaving his loyalty to the fatherland behind, Oswald "was the (uncredited) second-unit director of The Longest Day (1962) responsible for staging the parachute drop scenes into France on D-Day, during the Normandy landings of World War II." (Wikipedia). An observation of this film - Stanwyck and Wray were both nearly 50 when the film was made. Hayden and Burr, playing their respective husbands, were 10 years their junior. Find me a movie today where an actress nearly 50 years of age plays the romantic lead and lands a man 10 years younger with no questions asked. Feminism has lost ground in Hollywood.

Apr 23, 2018

Actually - I think that a more appropriate title for this dizzy, 1957, crime-clunker would have been "Crime of Stupidity" - 'Cause, believe me, that's exactly what this idiotic film's storyline amounted to being - pure stupidity (as only Hollywood could possibly deliver it).

You know - I can't imagine how anyone in the cast of this utterly implausible movie-nonsense could've ever kept a straight face, spewing out the totally awful dialogue that they did, and behaving like absolute brain-dead buffoons throughout.

Personally, I think that that big, dull oaf, Sterling Hayden was one of the most insincere and unconvincing character actors of his generation, bar none.

And, finally - Speaking about actress, Barbara Stanwyck - (At 50 years old here) - She was, in my opinion, absolute light years away from being believable, at all, as the irresistibly alluring business woman. She really was.

Dec 05, 2014

In Gerd Oswald’s magnificently overdone noir melodrama ambitious newspaper reporter Barbara Stanwyck sacrifices everything for a taste of domestic bliss when she falls in love with easygoing homicide detective Sterling Hayden only to discover the crushing horror that is middle class mediocrity. Slowly losing her mind to meaningless dinner parties and the vapid conversations offered up by other policemen’s wives, Barbara realizes that her only hope for salvation lies in goading her staid husband into seeking a promotion. To this end she sets in motion an elaborate scheme involving deception, adultery…and worse! With its lurid jazz score, theatrical dialogue, and stark B&W cinematography that practically oozes sin and desperation Oswald’s potboiler comes dangerously close to being a parody of itself. Thankfully Stanwyck’s knockout performance as a modern woman raging against the social ties that bind manages to lend some gravitas to the proceedings while a few familiar Hollywood faces keep the hysterics to a muted roar.

Mar 17, 2013

This film is a 1957 American crime film noir directed by Gerd Oswald and written by Jo Eisinger.
The drama features Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, and Raymond Burr.
Kathy Ferguson (Stanwyck) is a San Francisco newspaper advice columnist, who is a smart and witty ace at her job with her name on billboards all over town.
First of all, it is unbelievable that a woman like Cathy falls in love with a mediocre man like Bill Doyle (Hayden)---a Los Angeles police detective.
It is also unrealistic for Cathy to abandon her career and marry Doyle.
A smart woman like Cathy might have easily imagined that her role as a 1950s suburban wife and homemaker would quickly make her unhappy.
Cathy wants her husband to move up in the world because she wants him to have the same kind of ambition she had in her last job, to become "somebody."
Of course, Doyle has different values.
As a supposedly well-experienced advice columnist, Cathy might have known all this in advance.
Even more unbelieavable is her schema, in which Cathy pushes her husband up the ladder by manipulating his boss Tony Pope (Burr), who has an ailing wife (Wray), and by sleeping with him.
Cathy wants Pope to promote her husband, but he is not so easily manipulated.
He refuses to grant Doyle a plum job, believing Bill is NOT qualified.
Then she kills Doyle on an impulse.
The funny thing is that she knew that Pope would probably reject her schema.
After all, it is definitely unbelievable that a supposedly well-experienced advice columnist quits her job and marries a mediocre man and eventually kills his boss.

Nov 29, 2011

If you're going to be stuck in a crackerbox in an L.A. suburb, you might as well be stuck there with Sterling Hayden. But soon enough, you'll be willing to do anything to get out. "Willing to sleep with Raymond Burr" anything. And when the Santa Ana blows, you'll find yourself eyeing the back of hubby's neck, as your hand drifts towards the icepick. Stanwyck plays heroine Kathy with 50% snark, 50% snarling, spitting rage.

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