Combustible Celluloid
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With: Joan Crawford, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, Howard St. John, John Anthony Hayes, Rochelle Hudson, George Kennedy, Edith Atwater, Mitchell Cox
Written by: Robert Bloch
Directed by: William Castle
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 93
Date: 01/19/1964

Strait-Jacket (1964)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Chopping Bloch

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Strait-Jacket (1964) teamed the lucky William Castle not only with Oscar-winning star Joan Crawford, but also with screenwriter Robert Bloch, who had written the famous novel Psycho; and indeed, it has Psycho-like tendencies. Joan plays Lucy Harbin, who hacked up her husband and her husband's lover and went to an asylum for 20 years. (The 59 year-old Joan actually looks pretty hot in the flashbacks!) Now she has been released and comes home to live on a farm with her grown daughter, the pretty Carol (Diane Baker, who was also in Hitchcock's Marnie the same year). Of course, there are more murders. This one has a very high quality of dialogue and performance, not only by Crawford and Baker, but also by George Kennedy as a lumbering, sneering hired hand. Though Castle's even, medium style of shooting still applies here.

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