The Damned Don't Cry!
|The Damned Don't Cry!|
(based on original film poster)
|Directed by||Vincent Sherman|
|Produced by||Jerry Wald|
|Screenplay by||Harold Medford
|Story by||Gertrude Walker|
|Music by||Daniele Amfitheatrof|
|Editing by||Rudi Fehr|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.|
|Running time||103 mins.|
The Damned Don't Cry! is a 1950 American drama film starring Joan Crawford, David Brian, and Steve Cochran tells of a woman's involvement with an organized crime boss and his subordinates. The screenplay by Harold Medford and Jerome Weidman was based on a story by Gertrude Walker. The plot is loosely based on the relationship of Bugsy Siegel and Virginia Hill. The film was directed by Vincent Sherman, produced by Jerry Wald and distributed by Warner Bros.. The Damned Don't Cry! is the first of three cinematic collaborations between Sherman and Crawford, the others being Harriet Craig (1950) and Goodbye, My Fancy (1951).
Plot and cast
Ethel Whitehead (Joan Crawford) is a weary housewife living at the edge of the Texas oil fields. When her young son is killed in a bicycle accident, she leaves her abusive laborer husband Roy (Richard Egan) for the big city. She quickly learns to use her physical charms to get ahead. In cahoots with bookkeeper friend Martin Blackford (Kent Smith), Ethel works her way into the entourage of George Castleman (David Brian), a mobster who enjoys an elegant lifestyle. With the help of socialite Patricia Longworth (Selena Royle), Castleman grooms Ethel in the arts of cultured living. After making her his mistress, he tries to use her to trap his arch-rival Nick Prenta (Steve Cochran). The trap fails when Ethel falls in love with Prenta. The betrayed Castleman kills Prenta and goes gunning for Ethel but dies in a shootout with Blackford.
Bosley Crowther of The New York Times and Howard Barnes of the New York Herald Tribune both panned the film with Crowther commenting, "A more artificial lot of acting could hardly be achieved," and Barnes stating, "the theme is shabby and the incidents too violent for complete plausibility."
The film has gained its fans. Donna Marie Nowak commented in 2006, "Crawford makes the whole sordid enterprise taut and entertaining and is mesmerizing onscreen, walking across a room as if she owns it. Although Ethel is as "tough as a 75 cent steak", Crawford injects this hard-shelled dame with enough verve, style, chutzpah and charm to make one root for her. Her cheeky, sexy confidence in certain scenes helps roll the plot along...In all, it's Joan at her gritty, spunky best."
The movie was a hit grossing $2,211,000 nearly double its budget of $1,233,000. After being adjusted for inflation the 2009 film gross would be $18,600,038.