Possessed | Chicago Reader

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Curtis (Kurt) Bernhardt is the forgotten man among the German talents that settled in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s. Though his style retains interesting elements of expressionism, his visual coups are too often overstated and ill-matched with his prevailing pedestrian approach. But he does at least deserve a historical footnote for his pioneering application of Freud to the American melodrama, of which Possessed is a prime example. Joan Crawford stars as a neurotically inclined nurse, egged into schizophrenia by villainous Van Heflin. Though frequently ridiculous, the film is rather gripping in its excess (1947).

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