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JOAN CRAWFORD PLAYS 'DAISY KENYON' WITH DANA ANDREWS

Joan Crawford w/ Dana Andrews YEAR of Release: 1947
Joan Crawford stated that if it weren't for director Otto Preminger, DAISY KENYON, a romantic triangle melodrama hinting at Noir with three completely eclectic characters, wouldn't be anything but dull and cliché...

Dana Andrews rules, pet
Which is true and it isn't, because a lot of credit must go to the lady herself, who, while a bit old to be playing a working-girl artist fought over by two younger men, brings a dynamic performance out of Dana Andrews that might have been phoned-in with a less talented performer since his cheating, married lawyer Dan O'Mara has all the makings of a complete cinematic jerk...

As Preminger's Cary Grant having been in LAURA and FALLEN ANGEL, and more of an ambiguous character-actor style than being strictly a handsome leading man, Andrews is untrusting yet sympathetic, and his love for DAISY KENYON seems legit albeit his ego legitimately needs her love: And it's not just that he has two young daughters, later used as a wishbone by a spiteful wife played by CITIZEN KANE spiteful wife Ruth Warrick (while older daughter Peggy Ann Garner starred in Orson Welles' production of JANE EYRE as the young Jane)...

Daisy Scores: ***1/2
Andrews's pompous charmer, sauntering around and calling everyone, from Daisy to restaurant waiters, secretaries to strangers, "Honey Bunch," "Honey Bun," "Sweetie Pie," "Sweetie," "Sugar Plum," "Baby" or "Pet," is the kind of smug, selfish gent that people still admire, somehow. It really says something when Henry Fonda's calm, idealistic soldier Peter Lapham can't help but to think his rival's an okay sort of fella, at least on the surface...

Insert Poster
Fonda plays a one-note nice guy, as well as a WWII veteran who suffers nightmares (like Dana's character in BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES), although at one point he does border on stalking and is far too femininely sensitive/creepy with dialogue seeming more poetically, dreamily written than spoken during the initial "courtship" stage, thus remaining somewhat mysterious — more proof that a good actor can make a relatively uninteresting person matter... In fact, throughout the entire picture, Joan Crawford gets overshadowed by the men... One wants marriage and a nice summer fishing home while the other makes endless promises to finally leave his wife, having secret lunches on the go and continuously breaking her heart along the way...

The best moments occur in precision with Preminger's strategic, gliding camera, taking us through the sparse, mostly interior locations as if this were much more poignant and intense than a Harlequin Romance presented on screen; which it is, on the surface. But, like FALLEN ANGEL, the German director makes something out of almost nothing. But it's also the interplay between the three actors, even when one's being discussed in conversation by the other two, that, along with Preminger's creative style, makes DAISY work despite itself: Which is just what Joan had said. Meanwhile, in the 1970's when asked about this movie, Preminger stated he didn't remember making the picture at all: Which should have been the case with EXODUS and SKIDOO.
Dana Andrews in the rain in DAISY KENYON
Cute Peggy Ann Garmer as Dana and Ruth Warrick's daughter
"Marriage didn't stop you from mixing your metaphors." Dana Andrews, Daisy Kenyon
Faye Dunaway with Dana Andrews's brother Steve Forrest as Joan in Mommie Dearest opposite Dana & Joan
The opening credit background makes Daisy Kenyon seem as it'll be some kinda period piece
Dana Andrews talking to Joan Crawford's title character while wife Ruth Warrick listens in... Oops!
Oxbow Incident actors Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda reunite in Daisy Kenyon
Peggy Ann Garner with Dana Andrews in Daisy Kenyon
Dana Andrews walks up to Daisy Kenyon's apartment, and says to her friend, "Good Evening, Honey Bunch"
Martha Stewart and Dana Andrews, DAISY KENYON


 

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