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The Damned Don't Cry

The Damned Don't Cry(1950)

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  • Tense thriller still holds up

    • Jene Byrnes
    • 2/23/14

    Bosley Crowther's NY Times piece on The Damned Don't Cry makes plain he considers this film a poor cinematic offering. Categorized as a melodrama, Joan is described as trotting through her paces, hitting her "poor little shop girl" and "lady of sophistication" marks - a caricature. This is one of my favorite Crawford films. There are some missteps - I agree with Crowther that the pairing of fake eyelashes and a smudged face strike a false note. But I feel there is authenticity in Crawford's harder living scenes. From the history I've read of her, and the hype she promoted about her past, she seems to have an insiders knowledge of what it is to live rough, what it is to want, of not having the luxury of fine manners or morals when one is just trying to get by. It's interesting to contrast her with Stanwyck, who also attended the school of hard knocks. Stanwyck seemed to emerge with a wry sense of humor about herself and life, and the assurance of someone who could hold her own in the world. Crawford seems more brittle, and too worried with how others saw her, if they liked her. She seems to have needed affirmation about her worth and appeal - hence the need for false eyelashes with a dirty face. Crawford's is just one interpretation of what a life of struggle and drudgery can do to you - Stanwyck portrayed Edith Whiteheads grittier sister in Clash by Night, and Davis her most raw incarnation in Of Human Bondage. But I believe Crawford's characterization of Edith - what doesn't kill us doesn't always make us stronger, sometimes it makes you more fearful.

  • My favorite Crawford film

    • garcande
    • 1/24/14

    I love The Damned Don't Cry! I've seen it maybe 20-30 times and I never get tired of it. It's like seeing all the great Crawford characters rolled into one. Dowdy Ethel Whitehead becomes a tough city dame then is transformed into glamorous Lorna Hanson Forbes only to learn in the end that The Damned Don't Cry. The dialogue is great, vintage Warners. The pacing is quick and you never have a chance to go make popcorn because you don't want to miss anything. This film is considered to be second rate Crawford, made during her decline after Mildred Pierce, but I think it's one of her best. At least it's one of her most entertaining films. 4 Stars.

  • Crawford the Ultimate Cougar

    • Steve
    • 7/15/10

    I loved Joan in this movie; she really was the epitomy of the sexy mature woman. She's so real and completely immersed in the character (fascinating too that it's at least partially based on the Bugsy Seigel-Virginia Hill relationship). I couldn't help but think how great she would have been as Mrs. Robinson in the Graduate if only she had been the same age in 1968 as she was when she made this film in 1949. David Brian was good also, but Steve Cochran was particularly sharp, maybe his best role. The film also really gives a great view of mid-century Palm Springs, just when it was becoming the playground of Hollywood stars. Great architecture--Crawford included!

  • Crawford Does Film Noir

    • Bruce Reber
    • 6/11/10

    I saw "The Damned Don't Cry" (1950) on TCM as one of Bob Osborne's picks Tuesday night 6/8/10, and it's a pretty good film noir starring Joan Crawford in one of her last really good roles. In many ways the story parallels that of "Mildred Pierce" (1945), the film for which Joan won the best actress Oscar. She plays a woman who becomes discontented with her marriage and boring life and sets out to make a better living for herself no matter the cost. She loses her young child in an accident. Her infatuation with dangerous men ultimately leads her into equally dangerous situations. She attempts to manipulate the men in her life while at the same time trying to keep them from controlling her. The story ends with the man (or men) who victimized her being killed, and her returning to the same life she had at the beginning. "The Damned Don't Cry" came out at about the same time as "Harriet Craig", another one of Joan's great films. It seems the films she did after 1952 or so were mostly mediocre or outright awful, with the only exception being "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?" (1962).

  • Well done!

    • Linda
    • 6/10/10

    Joan Crawford is a favorite actress of mine, and this is the first time I've seen "The Dammed Don't Cry". I loved her in this movie - she really showed her acting talents. I'm looking forward to seeing this movie again. It reminded me of Mildred Pierce.

  • Crawford is tops!

    • lynnej
    • 6/10/10

    This shows the range of Crawford. She went from believable dowdy homemaker to an up and coming fast talking dame. She's forceful and knows what she wants even if it means that she'll be hurt in the end. The lesson is that she aspires to be more but just gets in over her head. She's so tough. I think she could have portrayed the Castleman part because of that toughness. Great movie.

  • The Damned Don't Cry (1950)

    • James Higgins
    • 1/6/10

    Solid Joan Crawford melodrama, she does a great job in the role. Good production. The supporting cast is a bit bland, but Selena Royle does great in a small role. The film always held my interest. Well done.

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