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Strait-Jacket
     

Strait-Jacket

5.0 3
Director: William Castle

Cast: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson

 

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In this chilling blood-tale in "Psycho" style, Robert Bloch modernizes the Lizzy Borden story. A wife (Joan Crawford) literally axes her cheating husband and his lover, witnessed by her three-year-old daughter. Mom is packed off to the insane asylum for 20 years before reuniting with the daughter (Diane Baker). From this point, the axe murders continue along a

Overview

In this chilling blood-tale in "Psycho" style, Robert Bloch modernizes the Lizzy Borden story. A wife (Joan Crawford) literally axes her cheating husband and his lover, witnessed by her three-year-old daughter. Mom is packed off to the insane asylum for 20 years before reuniting with the daughter (Diane Baker). From this point, the axe murders continue along a contrived plot intended to lead the audience astray until the mystery is solved. Crawford's strong performance and the excellently constructed suspense are the best elements of the film -- and the chopping saves the show when the plot tends to slow.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
This vintage William Castle shocker draws inspiration from Psycho, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and old Joan Crawford melodramas like Mildred Pierce in equal measure. The result is too derivative to be considered a classic, but its blend of campy thrills and surreal shocks make it a lot of fun. The script, penned by Psycho author Robert Bloch, hinges upon a "surprise" ending that modern viewers won't find too difficult to guess, but his story line offers enough plot contortions and juicy dialogue to keep things entertaining. The key attraction of Strait-Jacket is Joan Crawford, who tears into her role with all the vigor her camp devotees would expect. Crawford doesn't just chew the scenery, she outright devours it. Highlights include a scene where a delusional Crawford flirts outrageously with her daughter's fiancé, Michael, and the tantrum she throws when confronted with her asylum-inmate past by Michael's snooty mother. It's Crawford's show all the way, but Diane Baker provides solid support as her much put-upon daughter and George Kennedy manages to steal a few scenes as a slovenly hired hand whose attempt at blackmail goes fatally awry. Strait-Jacket also benefits from vigorous direction by William Castle, who stages the film's murder scenes with gruesome élan and works in some sly moments of humor to keep the melodramatic plot from becoming overripe. In short, Strait-Jacket is likely to disappoint anyone in search of a serious shocker, but will delight anyone who can appreciate chills of the campiest variety.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/2014
UPC:
0043396437418
Original Release:
1964
Rating:
NR
Source:
Sony Pictures Home
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:29:00
Sales rank:
270

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Joan Crawford Lucy Harbin
Diane Baker Carol Harbin
Leif Erickson Bill Cutler
Howard St. John Raymond Fields
John Anthony Hayes Michael Fields
Rochelle Hudson Emily Cutler
George Kennedy Leo Krause
Edith Atwater Mrs. Fields
Mitch Cox Dr. Anderson
Lee Yeary Frank Hardin
Patricia Krest Stella Fulton
Vickie Cos Carol Aged 3
Patty Lee 1st little girl
Laura Hess 2nd little girl
Robert Ward Shoe clerk
Howard Hoffman Actor
Lee Majors Actor

Technical Credits
William Castle Director,Producer
Richard Albain Special Effects
Van Alexander Score Composer
Arthur E. Arling Cinematographer
Robert Bloch Screenwriter
Edwin H. Bryant Editor
Ben Lane Makeup
Boris Leven Production Designer
Frank A. Tuttle Set Decoration/Design
Monty Westmore Makeup

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Strait-Jacket 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the film where Crawford plays good time gal Lucy Hardin, tramping her way through town in 40s regalia designed to make her look 30 when she is actually over 60. Lucy joyfully hacks her two timing hubby and his harlot and is put away in an asylum for 20 years. Upon release heads begin to roll and the fun begins..... We just love to see Joan tramping her way thorugh this the way we all wish we could. Interesting performance by Diane Baker as Miss Butter Wouldn't Melt In Your Mouth Carol!!!! And was this Rochelle Hudson's last film???? Whatever, few things equal this film, earining the moniker "You've gotta see it to believe it!"
JonnyC More than 1 year ago
If you've ever wondered what "Psycho" would be like with a female playing the Norman Bates character - wonder no longer - this film comes as close as possible, without being totally derivative (even though Robert Bloch wrote both screenplays). This film features a terrific performance by Miss Crawford as well as a great twist ending.
ACDCGIRL More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely cliff hanging story that'll have you on the edge of your seat! A softer, but more tantalizing feel of Physco enraptures you in this great film. I didn't see the end coming at all, and it held my attention constantly. Definitely a movie I'd recommend to family and friends. And it wasn't so horribly scary that I didn't sleep that night, but I'l never forget it.