Kick-Back Friday: #147
Daisy Kenyon (1947): Joan Crawford and her mannered theatrics are such potential distractions in this noir story of a love triangle that the movie’s a qualified recommendation. But director Otto Preminger was apparently able to temper (or tamp down) Crawford’s old-school mugging to the point, at least in some scenes, of producing nearly admirable acting. The fact that Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda (who received third billing) gave naturalistic and relatively understated performances also probably checked Crawford’s hammy tendencies on set—providing that the woman had a modicum of self-awareness.
In the DVD commentary, Preminger biographer and fan Foster Hirsch provides thoughtful insight on the director’s stylistic choices, praises the underappreciated Andrews, and describes production dynamics with “Mommie Dearest.” Notable behind-the-scenes skinny from Hirsch are, in part, courtesy of his prior interview with supporting actress Ruth Warrick.