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Crime of Passion

Barbara Stanwyck , Sterling Hayden , Gerd Oswald    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 18.48
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Barbara Stanwyck, Sterling Hayden / Crime Of Passion

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Criminal Intent May 23 2002
By tmp
Format:VHS Tape
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 <cue ominous music> 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.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What do women want? July 22 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Stanwyck is an amitious malcontent. She's married to Sterling Hayden a handsome, complacent L.A. cop who's content to do what he's been doing: clearing the streets of "gunsels." This lack of ambition drives Stanwyck to desperate measures. She tries to convince Raymond Burr, who will ultimately decide who gets the job, that her husband deserves it and that she's willing to do "anything" to see that he gets it. Burr allows her to give her all, than decides to give the job to Royal Dano. When Stanwyck asks him why, he answers that Hayden isn't up to it. But Dano is? The answer is yes and is final.
So, like a thwarted Lady McBeth, she ... well, I'll let you see for yourself. The performances are all topnotch, with special honors to Hayden, Dano and Burr. Thoroughly engrossing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Marry in Haste..... June 5 2004
Format:VHS Tape
"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!
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