A repressed woman is pushed into the abyss of schizophrenia by unrequited love
(1947 Warner Bros. Directed by Curtis Bernhardt 108 mins)
A tour-de-force performance from an aging Joan Crawford impresses, but the gestalt of this movie rarely strays beyond melodrama – more a soap-opera on steroids than film noir.
The use of flash-back and dark moody lighting make it look noirish, but the deranged protagonist is not responsible for the consequences of her delusions, and there is no redemption, only the hope of recovery.
Visually the opening scenes on the streets of LA and in the corridors of a hospital are stunning, but this virtuosity is not sustained, and the only visual interest in the rest of the film is the brutal and visceral murder at the end.