- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
My favorite scene, actually, has nothing to do with dismemberment or hysteria. It's when Joan attempts to seduce her daughter's future husband and in the process manages to leave a not unattractive, twenty something Diane Baker in the erotic dust. Joan may have lost her star power by the time she hit sixty but clearly not her sexuality. As for the rest of the film it's pretty much a yawner. (Let's just say William Castle is no Hitchcock and this is no "Psycho" and leave it at that). Straight C. P.S. Shoulda been retitled "Lucille,, Bring Me The Ax!"
I like This Movie !
- Don Riley
Old or Young Joan Crawford is still wonderful !. Her abilities are here, also. She's in an elite class, in my opinion, even in this thriller. And Leif Erickson, Diane Baker and George Kennedy are here, also. And there are excellent supporting players, besides. This is a low budget film in effects and quality and that's evident. but I have to give kudos to the creators for putting together such a great cast. And its not wasted they all excel. Joan Crawford does not have her beauty but her acting skills are still here and if you watch this film from an acting standpoint, you are still receiving an excellent lesson. and it all works for me. Don't believe the people who dismiss this late Crawford entry, she is still one of a kind and exceptional.
! Spoiler alert!
This is Mildred Pierce on steroids. It must have been murder (no pun intended) for aging Hollywood actresses to find decent film roles after age 45 or 50. This film is proof of that. Crawford must have been itching to get a film role--any film roll--and accepted this part. The movie is beyond campy. It's really dumb. I would be angry if I had actually paid good money to buy a theatre ticket to see his farce. It is sort of a fun film to watch on a rainy Saturday or after being trapped in the house during a three day blizzard. Otherwise, it is just a collection of cliched shots of Crawford looking terribly distressed, screaming in righteous fury, attempting to be a vixen (in her 60s with a much younger man), or just plain looking and acting crazy. Being fun to watch does not make a movie great or even good. It just makes it a curiosity and that what this film is. With its high school play special effects, ridiculously predictable scenes (there is a very likely an axe murderer and an older gentleman goes upstairs to put on his pajamas). Then who creeps her way upstairs to check on the whereabouts of her slaughtered husband: the idiot wife who wanders from room to room of the seemingly empty upstairs. It's no different from those 70s slasher movies where the baby sitter knows their is a murderer in the house but she picks that precise moment to turn off the lights and go upstairs to take a shower. How many idiots in this Crawford film walk into dark, cramped places knowing full well there is an axe murderer on the loose? They willingly seal their own fate by their own stupid behavior. And it is all totally predictable. Even the ending is no surprise. It is far too simple for Joan to be the axe murderer. If she had been, then what's the point of the film in the first place? So, in an attempt to create a thriller, somebody else had to be the killer and who is a better choice than the long suffering, madonna-like daughter? Surprise! Spoiler alert!
a perfect 60s horror/thriller
i must have around ten when i first saw this at one of those great, late neighborhood theatres that would have a double feature on the weekends. a terrifically entertaining afternoon movie.
- 60s movie lover Knox
A great movie by the legendary actress Joan Crawford. This is old Hollywood at its best. Joan Crawford elegance, sophistication God Joan Crawford act.
Great old scary movie
- R. B. Knox
This is one of Joan Crawford's great movies. I simply love Joan Crawford's work. She is and will always be a legendary actress, old Hollywood.
Strait Jacket - Review No. 3
- Bruce Reber
I have reviewed the campy horror film "Strait Jacket" (1964) starring Joan Crawford 2 times already and I'm posting my third. I saw it again on TCM 10/24/11, and it seems every time I watch it I enjoy it more and more. Director William Castle used gimmicks to draw the audience into his other films (i.e. flying skeletons, buzzers under the seats and ghosts that could only be seen by wearing special glasses), but felt he didn't need a gimmick with "Strait Jacket", since the spectacle of Crawford trying to look 20 years younger than she was by wearing a wig, tight dress and those awful jangly earrings was enough of a gimmick already. Maybe it could have been helped by a gimmick - whenever Lucy Harbin (Crawford) swung that huge axe while she was beheading one of her victims, several severed heads could either come rolling down the aisles or fly across the theater. Or maybe a Crawford look-alike tied up in a strait-jacket screaming her lungs out running around the theater at various intervals in the film. At the end when Lucy's daughter Carol, who was the one doing all of the murders is committed to an insane asylum, Lucy says she must go stay with her because Carol needs her. Why would she want to go back again after 20 years? The guilt over making Carol who she was I guess. I'd still like to know where Lucy got those god awful earrings. Even a gypsy wouldn't be caught dead wearing those things!
Joan is Awesome
You can put Joan in any movie even a bad B-movie, and she still pulls it off. No acadamy awards here folks but still worth the time to sit back with the kids and enjoy.
- claudette McCormack
Everyone in this movie is dressed for the era, (1960s), but Joan has a 1940s hairdo, dress, and shoes. She looks like a murdering Mildred Pierce! Still lots of campy fun though.
Seriously? What's up with all the negativity here people? Saw this recently and thought it was a real hoot. Genuine suspense, Joan Crawford at her campiest best - what more could you ask for?
- James Higgins
Joan Crawford gives a delightfully melodramatic and campy performance makes this one worth watching. The story is suspenseful and it always held my interest. It's a bit corny and it's overdone in just about every way, but that is part of it's appeal.
Review of Strait Jacket - Part 2
- Bruce Reber
I saw "Strait Jacket" starring Joan Crawford again on TCM Tuesday 10/20/09 and would like to expand on my first review. The sight of Joan (I think she was about 60 at the time) wearing that tight fitting dress, cheap wig, gaudy earrings, and of course that spooky face of hers is to me at the same time laughable and a bit pathetic. I also said in my first review that she killed her lover (in fact it was both her husband and HIS lover that she treated to the business end of an axe). I also noticed some shameful product placement (in the kitchen there's a six-pack of Pepsi Cola sitting on the counter). Of course everyone knows that Joan was married to Pepsi CEO Alfred Steele, so I guess she felt she had to plug her husband's product whenever possible.
Not Great, But Not Horrible
This movie isn't as awful as some have suggested. Personally, I like the old TV Guide description that used to accompany listings for it: "After an axe murderess is released from a mental hospital, strange things start happening, like axe murders."
Swing That Axe Joan!
- Bruce Reber
Joan Crawford looks pretty convincing as just released from the looney bin axe murderess Lucy Harbin in "Strait Jacket" (1964). Twenty years earlier her daughter witnessed Lucy lopping off her lover's head with an axe, and when she returns home she finds history repeating itself when several more victims turn up minus their noggin. At first she thinks she may be the one doing the murders, but soon discovers it's her daughter who is imitating Mommie Dearest by doing a little headhunting herself(pardon the two bad puns) as she witnessed Lucy doing twenty years earlier. She should have made this film her swan song instead of "Trog" (1970). "Strait Jacket" certainly isn't one of the better films she made, but at least it's a fairly good and scary horror flick, unlike "Trog" which is arguably the worst (and last) film she ever made. As for "Trog", it's just a horror in every sense of the word!
Nail in the Coffin
Next to "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," this is the worst film I've ever seen. Castle and Crawford had to have been in another realm to create something this monstrous.To think that either one of them actuallygot paid to do this extremely violent, sick and twisted film seems in incredulous. What were producers thinking? Seeing this film was the end of me ever watching another film with Joan Crawford in it. That's how bad it is.
To write that this is a hatchett job isn't about the axe that Miss Crawford's wielding. But rather, it's my over all impression of this...film? The plot is awful, the acting's worse, the direction is backwards, and scene after scene prove to be simply terrible. This is one mess to avoid.
A Horror(ible) Film
This film is not a classic, it's a horrible horror. The low-budget film director, William Castle, reached an all time low to make this one. He added, for box office draw sake, a movie star who was in desperate need of resurrection for name's sake: Crawford. Then, he got a cult to follow it. Castle the magician or Castle the trickster? Joan's playing Crawford, instead of Lucy Harbin. This time, Crawford's supposed to be a mother (?), who, in front of her young daughter, murderered her husband and mistress by axing them to death. The horror is that this film was ever made. It doesn't surprise me in the least that Crawford was cast in the lead. It was probably easy to go on set and rage out as herself. The film's not worth one minute or a penny.
Castle and Crawford Go Insane Together
Another fitting revelation about how bad Crawford depended upon having her name on a marquis. Please don't bother with this one either. It's horrible.
Once again, as was his habit, director William Castle stoops to another low to bill his film with a has-been's pop-cult attracting name, Joan Crawford. Again, a semblance of Joan, being resurrected from a career grave only for name's sake, depicts a woman stereotypically sexist. This time, the horror's Joan's performance. It's more fatuous than the screenplay! Joan's Lucy Harbin, an insane, jealous asylum convict, who axed her husband & his lover to death in front of their little girl (& didn't get the death penalty or prison time?). 20 years later, the murderer selfishly wants a kinship with the adult daughter she traumatized as a child. Brutal murders begin again. That the film, director, lead actor & screenwriter were left uninstitutionalized after making this film is horrorifying.
shocker, couldnt believe it
my jaw dropped when lucy cut off george kennedy's head with the axe, i mean this is 1964, how did that make it past the censors. this movie kind of blew me away, no cheap graphics, no cheap fx, and the acting was genuine ( plus joan crawford - schwinggg!!)
All I have to say is- underrated!
- ws jones
the role mommie dearest was born to play
- ws jones
It's been a long time since TCM aired this classic of grand guignol