- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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Stanwyck's Character Makes No Sense
The film opens with Stanwyck as a very successful female advice columnist at a San Francisco newspaper. She is under-appreciated by her boss, who thinks that her pieces can be recycled and no one would know the difference. A woman murder suspect fled to San Francisco, and 2 detectives from L.A. come to the newspaper, one of whom is Sterling Hayden's character. Hayden and Stanwyck's characters are immediately attracted to one another. Stanwyck writes a heartfelt piece describing how she understands why a desperate woman would resort to murder due to her husband and society not understanding her, and she asks the fugitive woman to contact her, which she does. She agrees to give Hayden the right address, so he'll get credit, but he refuses to steal the limelight. The detectives arrest the fugitive and leave town. Meanwhile, Stanwyck gets a good job offer from a newspaper in New York. Out of the blue, Hayden calls Stanwyck and asks her to take a flight with a stopover in Los Angeles so they can have dinner before she leaves for the East coast. She agrees. They immediately decide to get married, and Stanwyck forgets about the New York job. Once married, she realizes that she doesn't even know her husband, and finds suburban L.A. life and the vapid, gossiping wives of other policemen boring. She wants Hayden to aspire to a better job, but he wants to keep the seniority and security he has built up, so she plots to advance his career by damaging his more forceful partner's career, forcing his transfer. This is the part I don't buy. When the film begins, Stanwyck was honest and altruistic. Her writing is so popular that she has female followers who read and discuss her posts in groups. She tried to help the fugitive woman, but instead of getting another writing job, which wouldn't be difficult, she plots to force the man she loves into a job he doesn't want, just because she's bored, even resorting to adultery and murder? Doesn't make sense to me.
crime of passion
- kevin sellers
Although more of a domestic drama, in my opinion, than a noir, this is still a well told, tawdry tale of the price to be paid for a woman's sublimating her energies and ambitions through men. It's also got a few observations to make about 50s suburban angst and police corruption. Director Gerd Oswald, as per usual, keeps things moving at a good clip with an especially deft hand in the corridors of LAPD headquarters. And the performances, as the other reviewers have noted, are first rate. Barbra Stanwyck, coming to the end of her film career, is completely convincing as only she can be when playing a sociopath, Sterling Hayden, who is usually on the other side of the law, is quite credible as a rather average cop whom his wife, in what is basically the mainspring of the film's plot, elevates above his station, a slimmed down Raymond Burr is excellent as the arrogant captain, and Royal Dano, one of my favorite character actors, who has played everything from Abe Lincoln to a crappy high school teacher, is wonderful as Hayden's hard assed,more gifted partner. My only criticism is that the screenplay has a few holes, like zero discussion of why Stanwyck and Hayden choose not to have kids, and a tendency to be overly melodramatic in some of the scenes between husband and wife. Also, the production is kind of cheesy with absolutely no feel for San Francisco, where the first twenty minutes are set. (Instead, you have a scene of people reading an SF newspaper in front of LA's city hall). Give it a B plus. P.S. I like guest host and noir expert Eddy Muller but I vehemently disagree with him that "Big Valley" was a "dignified" role for Babs as her career wound down. Playing a female version of Ben Cartwright is many things but "dignified" sure aint one of 'em.
Sterling Hayden Deserves More Respect
- DON RILEY
Ok, yes, true !.......Barbara Stanwyck is tremendous and very well could be the greatest of the greats, I would argue against because both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's acting has both more nuance and more specifics in creating and delivering the lines. Just generally better depicted emotions, and intricacies, in creating a character. That against Stanwyck's powerful and broad portrayals that equal any male star. But its time people give Sterling Hayden his due and he is such a towering, unemotional presence. He serves as an unequaled second to any major characterization when cast next to any superstar. He is so unique and so effective. That happens here, this is not much more than a Tv Script, but no film is Tv when it features Barbara Stanwyck and she is supported so very well by Hayden.
Kathy Ferguson Doyle!
- Raymond Banacki
As a study of an obsessed woman for whom there is no way back , the director and his star made a mesmerizing film out to the material.
Memerized by Stanwicks's Ownership of Herself
- Just a Gal
I absolutely loved Stanwick in this movie. I think it transcends the year, the decade in which it was set, and speaks more of the internal yearning we have-- many of us have to be more than lives we are living. In her last scene with Raymond Burr's character (whom I was outstanding from my view in his supporting role), I almost cried at how she refused to let him play a such key role in margenalizing her life, without paying a price of his own. The manner in which he so casually rebuffed her after their brief daliance (does this theme ever get old??), seemed to deserve a price that he pay to restore her self worth, her value, which he ironically observed early on, set her (them) apart from others... Too bad he didn't let his early assessment guide his ultimate behavior-- maybe at the end of the day, she was just a woman, a little too big for her britches... um humm--loved it!
Crime of passion
- Nancy Hill
Wow! what a great forgotten film with Barbara Stanwyck as an obssesed wife . Sterling Hayden..Stanwyck comes onto Raymond Burr to secure her husbands lot in life..Its so well acted ..ans should be put onto DVD..as I would like to collect this and add it to my film library..
I don't believe it for a minute.
- el debbo
No way Babs and Sterling Hayden fell so suddenly in love. No way an independent gal like her tells off her editor, heads to a new job on the East coast, and goes all giddy and BAILS on her life dream for Hayden and the burbs of L.A.No Way!! This movie's plot was ridiculous, the sets were sub-par, and there was something really odd about Barbara's mouth that distracted me. I thought the film started out with a bang... that great banter between her and the MALE assistant at her desk in San Francisco. I thought "Wow, this is futuresque! Feminist! I'll BUY this one!" It spiralled down and out of control thereafter. Two stars given for the first 10 minutes or so. And for the great Jay Adler.
CRIME OF PASSOIN
I was absolutely blown away by this movie, with Barbara Stanwyck in this movie Crime of Passion. I give this movie5 stars!!!!!!!!! you were on edge throughout the entire movie, it was truly a classic thriller. I don't knw why it is not for sale on DVD
Tepid Film Noir
- Bruce Reber
Barbara Stanwyck starts off as a newspaper columnist being a 50's career woman who swears she'll never leave her exciting job for marriage, but she ends up getting hitched to cop (not executive, as stated in the synopsis) Sterling Hayden. Soon, she comes to realize the huge mistake she made when she has to deal with being both a housewife and police wife, having to face a life of mediocrity that she claimed she despised. She gets herself into a very messy situation when she schemes to get her husband a major promotion by having an affair with his boss Raymond Burr. She ends up being arrested by for murder by her husband, ultimately becoming a victim of her circumstances. Not one of Stanwyck's better performances, and "Crime of Passion" is certainly no "Double Indemnity"
Bab's IS sexy...
- Steve S.
especially in one scene w/ Sterling BUT the story line (plot) and the speed of the movie make's it hard to believe that Ms. Stanwyck's character could "turn" so fast. In fact, I found myself asking - "nah, c'mon, she did this for that"?
Barbara Stanwyck can certainly turn on the charm, sex appeal, raw emotion and draw me into her character. Her performance in this film impresses me as a powerhouse one. It's the way that she uses her acting assets so masterfully well that works.I'm glad I didn't miss it!
Crime of Passion
- Wendy Winkler
Barbara Stanwyck gives one of her best performances in this movie. She is absolutely powerful. There is one scene where she breaks down and you can hear the anger and frustration in her voice. You can see it in her face. Ms. Stanwyck's performance is electrifying.