Ace noir psychodrama, packing in an impressive amount of sly statements about class and gender without ever forgetting that it should be an entertaining mystery nightmare played to the hilt. The pacing zips along—especially if you made it through the 6 hour HBO version—and the visuals play wonderful games with shadows. What's this I hear about Curtiz not being considered an auteur?
A wonderful, beautiful Joan Crawford, struggles to provide for that ungrateful spoiled-rotten little bitch daughter, under Michael Curtiz's lavish production and James M. Cain's incendiary social study. You can't really go wrong with that.
The story is sometimes a bit weak, but everything else was superb. This is Crawford's show and we never forget it. She and everything that surrounds her is photographed beautifully. The lighting and the cinematography are incredible, an endless source of inspiration. I really love these old Hollywood classics. They capture mood like nothing else.