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Crime of Passion
Crime of Passion
Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr, Fay Wray, Virginia Grey
Director: Gerd Oswald
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2003     1hr 24min

Barbara Stanwyck soars in a "rafter-rattling portrayal of a homicidal housewife" (The New York Times) in this "exciting, taut" (Motion Picture Daily) thriller about wanting it allandstopping at nothing to get it. A most un...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden, Raymond Burr, Fay Wray, Virginia Grey
Director: Gerd Oswald
Creators: Joseph LaShelle, Herman Cohen, Robert Goldstein, Jo Eisinger
Genres: Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Classics, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Black and White,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 12/02/2003
Original Release Date: 01/09/1957
Theatrical Release Date: 01/09/1957
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 24min
Screens: Black and White,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 8
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

Mark Norvell | HOUSTON | 12/11/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Neat, tidy little B-picture about a woman who tries to push her husband up the ladder of success only to have it backfire on her. San Francisco newspaper writer Kathy Ferguson (Barbara Stanwyck) meets and quickly marries macho LA detective Bill Doyle (Sterling Hayden) and finds herself plopped down in the middle of suburbia. This is all well and good until she finds her role relegated to the living room with the brainless other wives while the "boys" play poker in the kitchen. Being from a newspaper, she's used to being one of the boys and not one of the "little women". She finally snaps after one too many of these evenings and starts scheming to move her husband up in the department so she can be proud of him and mingle intelligently with the upper crust where she feels they belong. Her plans go beautifully until she runs up against her biggest obstacle, Bill's boss police chief Raymond Burr. They become close and one night he shows up at Kathy's while Bill's away and confides that he needs to retire and is looking for a replacement. Kathy siezes the opportunity to sell Bill as the replacement and commits the ultimate sacrifice via a one-night-stand with Burr thinking she's cinched the "deal" for Bill. But Burr has other plans---leaving Kathy horrified and guilty over what she's done. Her next move will be murder. Stanwyck always excelled at portraying strong, driven, ambitious women and Kathy is no exception. But the film has an obvious feminist slant unusual for the time. The director and Stanwyck make it clear what motivates Kathy and why she she goes over the edge. She loves her husband enough to go all out for him but smart enough to know that she will benefit too. She's too strong a woman to just sit around and mindlessly gossip over dresses, diets and phony aspirations. Her aspirations are real because she knows what she wants for herself and her husband. And it doesn't include cream cheese and olives. For Stanwyck fans, this is an interesting addition to her gallery of headstrong women with an agenda. It's not a "great" film but it's good and worth watching."
Criminal Intent
tmp | Solar System, MA USA | 05/23/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This movie might have single-handedly brought on woman's lib. When middle-aged San Francisco reporter Kathy Ferguson (Barbara Stanwyck) meets hunky middle-aged LA cop (Sterling Hayden), she chucks her career for love. This lands her in the San Fernando Valley in the dining room listening to the unbearably grating chatter of her husband's cop buddies wives. Naturally, this drives Kathy completely bonkers (If I heard the words "cream cheese and olive" one more time, I might have gone bonkers with her), and she becomes determined to get her husband to the top at any cost! Naturally, mayhem ensues. This movie is only saved by the performance given by Barbara Stanwyck. She manages to make Kathy Ferguson a real person; she shows the real longing, desire (Barbara eyes Sterling Hayden like the prime slab 'o beef he is, and makes her intentions very clear), and smarts this woman has, and how frustration at being sidelined by society can bring out fierce competition in someone (today she'd be called manic-depressive). What's funniest about this movie is that it's so subversive. On the surface, we are supposed to be shocked, shocked I tell you, that Kathy does what she does in the name of her husband's career. On the other hand, life in the valley in the 50's is painted as so soul-destroyingly vapid, you wonder how she managed not to go on a killing spree. A really seldom seen gem that any fan of film noir should check out."
Crime of passion
Richard J. Marino | san francisco, ca United States | 12/17/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Good Noir. Good Stanwyck. Middle-aged love affair that goes wrong. What can happen to someone from San Francisco, if they move to LA. Well the valley that is. Stanwyck plays Kathy Ferguson, a reporter for a major newspaper who gets married, and has only one ambition, to make her husband move up in the ranks of the LA police Dept. And she will do anything to do it. You know there will be trouble. The acting is crisp and the pace is quick and watchable. I beleive Raymond Burr gets his only screen kiss that I know of. Fay Wray is terrific in a supportive role. Its great to see her and Stanwyck together.Watch this with chips and CreamCheese and Olive dip."
Marry in Haste.....
Mcgivern Owen L | NY, NY USA | 06/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Crime of Passion" is a solid basic film noir. It lacks much of the dark exteriors, night shots, strange camera angles and gloomy interiors of a complete noir film but this is still the real thing. Barbara Stanwyck is a successful newspaper columnist in San Francisco. She impulsively marries an L.A. cop, Sterling Hayden. The suddenness of the marriage might signal some future "problems". The newlyweds settle down to a neat little suburban house, which would appear right at home on an "Ozzie and Harriet" set. Hayden is happy as a clam but not the Mrs! She wants more! She quickly becomes bored with the stilted little dinner parties and catty gossip of the other police wives. Who could blame her! Then Stanwyck over reaches! She has an affair with her hubby's boss. The intent was getting him a promotion. The guy is none other than Raymond Burr, the soon to be Perry Mason of 50s TV fame. Can we imagine Perry getting involved with a hot girl like Barbara? This reviewer is straining not to give away the ending, so I'll just reveal that matters start to unravel. At least one person winds up dead! The gossip columnist is out of her league. Her ploy does not exactly work. The hard-nosed ending is quite satisfying and in line with 40s and 50s cop/noir films. A star is subtracted for the rather sudden "resolution". 2 final notes: True crime fans may be appalled at one especially egregious example of shoddy police work. Does anyone remember the term "protection of evidence"? No wonder O.J. walked 35 years later! Silver and Ward's "Film Noir" states that CP was a prime example of the "malaise infecting suburbia" in the 1950s. While that does not apply to Hayden it certainly does to his conniving spouse. If only she had stayed in San Francisco!"