"Released on Christmas Day 1947, "Daisy Kenyon" has become a favorite among Joan's devoted followers. Because "Daisy Kenyon" is just as beautiful as any of Joan's other Oscar-nominated roles. But, perhaps overshadowed by that other hugely successful film coming out in '47, Possessed, at the time of its release "Daisy Kenyon" had little fanfare. Unfortunately, up until now this movie has never been released on DVD (not even on VHS or the dreaded LaserDisc!) And since this film isn't licensed to Turner it has never even been shown on TCM (good luck trying to find anything halfway edible on AMC or the even more obscure Fox Movie Channel.) So, for the passed 60 years "Daisy Kenyon" has been left in a rather befuddled and unreachable halfway point; somewhere between purgatory and paradise.
The tagline for this classic 20th Century-Fox picture is: "I don't belong to any man." And doesn't that describe Daisy Kenyon perfectly; not to mention the always in-control Joan Crawford...! Both Joan and Daisy set their own rules and made certain that all the boys in their lives always followed them! Joan portrays the lead title-role of Daisy Kenyon astutely. Because she is so believable in this dramatic masterpiece. And, this time Miss Crawford's character, Daisy, has both experience and intelligence on her side!
The film is in black and white and is 100 minutes long. (BTW the picture color might seem rather obvious since 99.99% of Miss Crawford's movies from the 20's, 30's and 40's are not in color. However, I always like to state this because there is an entirely new generation of younger fans who may not realize this!) And Joan's costars include: Dana Andrews (as Dan O'Mara) and Henry Fonda (as Peter Lapham.) The movie also includes cameos by Walter Winchell, Leonard Lyons, John Garfield and Damon Runyon! Also in smaller parts is Ruth Warrick (as Lucille O'Mara) and Martha Stewart (as Mary Angelus). (And, no, that's not the same Marta Stewart that makes apple pie and hocks tablecloths at Bamberger's basement.)
Don't you just love the cover of this DVD! It looks almost exactly like the classic movie poster that was originally used. Joan looks so beautiful and youthful. I've added some more pictures of Joan from this wonderful picture, just click this link !
I especially love this film because it's totally a throw-back to Joan's M-G-M days. If you enjoyed Joan in Sadie Mckee, Chained or Forsaking All Others (1934) you will adore her in "Daisy Kenyon!" Daisy is a career woman (working as a commercial artist) and takes up with married Dan O'Mara. She loves Dan and hopes to marry him one day. Dan finally divorces his wife just as Daisy says "I do" to Peter, a man who although is kind, does not ring Daisy's bell!
These are some of Miss Crawford's comments on "Daisy Kenyon" (from the book, Conversations With Joan Crawford:) Daisy Keyon -if Otto Preminger hadn't directed it the picture would have been a mess. The script was a cliché. The usual triangle helped out by two very handsome young men, Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda. It came off. Sort of.
Trivia: * Joan had an older sister named Daisy, who passed away as a very young child (before Joan was born.) * One of the scenes is filmed in the famous NY nightclub, The Stork Club. * Even though Joan was under contract with Warners, she went out on loan to 20th Century-Fox because she fell in love with the script for this film. * Besides Joan's earliest uncredited roles, silent films & very early "talklies" from the mid-20's & early 30's, up until this DVD, Joan's only major motion pictures that have never been released on any format commercially, in any country, ever include: No More Ladies (1935,) Daisy Kenyon, This Woman is Dangerous (1952) & Female on the Beach (1955.) * Contrary to popular belief, Miss Crawford participated in almost no promotion for this movie. * The movie was based on the book, by the same title, by Elizabeth Janeway. * "Daisy Kenyon" was retitled "Entre El Amor y El Pecado" for the Spanish release, which means: Enter the Love and the Sin. * The plot/subplot for both "Daisy Kenyon" and Joan's forgettable flop "When Ladies Meet" were both similar to her classic "The Women." * This is Joan's last movie she ever made with that stereotypical-MGM love-triangle storyline. * Both of Joan's first 2 real-life divorces were constantly in the society papers and just as dramatic as the proceeding in "Daisy Kenyon." * Joan wore a similar fur coat in her defining picture "Mildred Pierce," although that one was more theatrical. * Joan wore a similar looking veil as Daisy (during the court scenes) when she divorced her second husband. * This is one of Henry Fonda's only films that he does not take first billing in. * This is Henry Fonda's last studio-system movie for 20th Century-Fox. * In 2005, "All My Children" veteran Ruth Warrick, at the age of 89 was the final main cast member of "Daisy Kenyon" that was still alive. * Griff Barnett, Jeffrey Sayre & William H. O'Brien (who all played bit/uncredited roles in "Daisy Kenyon") each had small parts in Joan's other '47 film "Possessed." * This is Joan's final film for more than a year; she can be seen next with a new cropped hairstyle in "Flamingo Road."
This is an extremely far-reaching film for both film historians and Joan Crawford admirers. "Daisy Kenyon" can he credited for helping to pave the way for other strong leading female characters on the silver screen. This is one of the first films that showed the modern American woman who was totally independent. It wasn't one of those typical sappy love triangles that Joan was famous for (although the plot was similar.) Daisy Kenyon called all the shots. If I had to use just one word to describe Daisy Kenyon I would use "control" because she was in constant charge. This is also an important film for anyone who follows Miss Crawford's 50+ year career because "Daisy Kenyon" marked a point when Joan was just banging 'em out. As you may know, throughout Joan's career she always tended to go through stages (the shop girl, the flapper, the scream queen, etc.) But during the time of "Daisy Kenyon" Joan was just making some extremely high-quality dramatic films. Of course you know that after "Daisy Kenyon" she also had "Flamingo Road," The Damned Don't Cry, "Goodbye, My Fancy" and Harriet Craig.
If you know just one fact about Miss Crawford (heaven knows there has been so many untruths written about her,) you know that she was always the consummate professional; and this film is no exception! By the way, some more of Joan's movies will also be out in February: The Joan Crawford Collection, Vol. 2 (A Woman's Face / Flamingo Road / Sadie McKee / Strange Cargo / Torch Song)! Please always remember that there never was a finer actress or a star that was more kind-hearted than the one and only Joan Crawford! "
A great post-war vehicle for Joan, but not really a film noi
calvinnme | 12/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this film and 1947's "Possessed" are my favorite two films from the middle part of Joan Crawford's career.
I realize Fox did make lots of great film noirs in the 1940's, but they're just about all on DVD now, and so now Fox is labeling some movies as film noir that really aren't at all, probably partially as a marketing strategy. Film noir usually involves a situation that must end in tragedy of some kind and involves characters that are all unlikeable and unsympathetic. This is really not the case here. This film is a great vehicle for Joan Crawford, though. In fact, I can't imagine any other actress in the lead. Daisy Kenyon (Joan Crawford) plays a commercial artist who is the strong independent type. She has fallen in love with a married man of means (Dana Andrews) who has a clingy and emotionally unstable wife (Ruth Warrick) and a couple of daughters that he knows he will lose access to if he gets a divorce. In other words, he is permanently married and he and Daisy's relationship is going nowhere. Enter Peter Lapham (Henry Fonda), a widower recently back from World War II. Both men love Daisy, but only one can "do right" by her - Peter. Unfortunately, he is not the man she loves.
The resulting love triangle, the idea of any of this being particularly scandalous even to someone aiming for public life, and in particular the then quite backwards divorce laws of the state of New York might seem quaint to a modern audience, but the private situations and emotions of the characters still ring true. Who does Daisy choose in the end? The man willing to give her up. I'll let you watch the film and find out which of the two men that is.
Extra features are: Audio commentary by Film Noir historian, Foster Hirsch "From Journeyman to Artist: Otto Preminger at 20th Century Fox" featurette "Life in the Shadows: The Making of Daisy Kenyon" Poster, still, and behind the scenes galleries Interactive pressbook Theatrical trailer"
Don't be out-Foxed--this is no Noir!!!
Harvey M. Canter | tarzana, ca United States | 03/10/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As the previous reviewer correctly notes, this film is most certainly NOT a film noir, not even close to one!!! Joan Crawford was in some great film noirs, such as 'Mildred Pierce' 'Possessed' and 'Flamingo Road'. 'The Damned Don't Cry' has some strong noir elements as well. Both FR and DDC are aided by strong male co-star performances, and are both more edgy, dark, and complex than 'Daisy Kenyon'. DK is a solid film for Crawford and her two co-stars, Henry Fonda and Dana Andrews, and no doubt pushed the envelope in its day with the racey love triangle/adultery plot line, but the result is still pretty conventional and predictable. There are many Crawford films I prefer to this one, including the ones noted above, as well as Humoresque and A Woman's Face, but DK is one you don't want to miss if you are a fan of hers. Her portrayal is complex and rich, and you really feel her process of working through an interior struggle as she juggles the two men in her life and her own career development. The character is much more whole, stronger, and stable than the women she portrays in the film noirs or dramas noted above, and she has more of her own internal rudder, so she is less dependent on men or circumstances to define who she is as a person and what her fate will be. In that sense, this film becomes more hopeful and less dark, tawdry, and grim than the others, so it might be more enjoyable to many viewers."
Excellent movie, fair-to-good DVD
Scott Coblio | West Hollywood, CA United States | 03/19/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Good film, excellent DVD extras but I was a bit disappointed with the transfer in places where the left and right edges of the screen appear out of focus and only the middle is sharp. However, this was not all the way through the film and was probably a defect of the source print they used.
Of course, it goes without saying that Crawford fans will love it anyway, for Joan's elegant and restrained performance & stunning looks, the gorgeous production values and the aforementioned nifty extras. And for the price, I can forgive them not having done a full restoration.
As for whether or not "Daisy Kenyon" is film noir....I'd say it has certain noir trappings--lots of nighttime scenes and faces half in shadow etc., but lacking the usual "underworld" noir characters & scenarios. It's mostly just a very well-made "woman's picture" as that somewhat antiquated modifier goes. But very well done!"
Crawford, Andrews, and Fonda in top form
Stephen Reginald | Chicago, IL United States | 04/01/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
Daisy Kenyon is an enjoyable melodrama with the three leads working at the top of their games. Joan Crawford returns to the kind of role that made her a top star at MGM for 18 years. Crawford is Daisy Kenyon, a commercial artist involved with a married man, successful lawyer Dan O'Mara (Dana Andrews). Their affair is beginning to wear on Daisy and she's tempted by the advances of an emotionally wounded WW II war veteran, Peter Lapham (Henry Fonda). Daisy is tired of sneaking around and playing second fiddle to O'Mara's troubled wife (Ruth Warrick) and his two young daughters (Peggy Ann Garner and Connie Marshall). Which man will Daisy end up with: the man of her dreams O'Mara or the man who loves her above all else (Lapham). Back in the day, they used to call movies like this, women's pictures because the narrative was from the female protagonist's perspective. Daisy Kenyon fits this model fairly well, but as already mentioned, the three leads elevate the material here, with good, believable performances. Crawford was powerful enough in 1947 to get what she wanted; she asked for two of the top male contract players at Fox (Andrews and Fonda) and got them. She also got to work with Otto Preminger, who was able to give this film both grit and polish. As movies from this period go, it holds up fairly well. The DVD has a good documentary on Otto Preminger and one on the making of Daisy Kenyon. Both are worthwhile and enjoyable. Why this is included in the Fox Film Noir collection is beyond me. The only thing that slightly fits the noir profile is the moody b & w photography. The characters and storyline are strictly melodrama, however."