“I can’t wander all my life… I’ve got to be going somewhere!”
When her wealthy lover (Dana Andrews) refuses to leave his manipulative wife (Ruth Warrick) out of concern for his two daughters (Peggy Ann Garner and Connie Marshall), a magazine artist named Daisy Kenyon (Joan Crawford) agrees to marry a widowed veteran (Henry Fonda) — but is Andrews really gone from Daisy’s life?
Otto Preminger directed this adaptation of Elizabeth Janeway‘s novel about a working woman in New York City who is torn between continuing her affair with an overbearing lawyer (Andrews) or settling for a tamer life with her smitten new suitor (Fonda). Naturally, it’s Crawford’s show the entire way, and her diehard fans likely won’t be disappointed — but the film on the whole is not quite satisfying, with both characters and plot underdeveloped. Fonda’s character is meant to be an enigmatic (how in the world did he come into Daisy’s life, anyway?), psychologically damaged milquetoast, with the ultimate result that he’s little less than a foil for Andrews’ unappealing womanizer. A critical subplot about Warrick’s abusive treatment of Marshall (who looks appropriately traumatized) is the most intriguing element of the screenplay, but is glossed over. Apparently the film now holds a minor cult following, with DVD Savant writing that it is “dramatically and emotionally satisfying” and “easily one of Preminger’s best efforts” — but I can’t really agree.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Atmospheric cinematography
No; this one is only must-see for Crawford or Preminger completists.