Daisy Kenyon (1947)

“I can’t wander all my life… I’ve got to be going somewhere!”

Synopsis:
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?

Genres:

Review:
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

Must See?
No; this one is only must-see for Crawford or Preminger completists.

Links:

One Response to “Daisy Kenyon (1947)”

  1. Rewatched, and then posted in ‘The ’40s-’50s in Film’. Not must-see.

    [“There’s nothing like a crisis to show what’s really inside people.”

    ‘Daisy Kenyon’ (1947): Alas, not one of Joan Crawford’s (or anyone else’s) finest hours. The first problem is the title. Joan may work quite well as someone named Mildred, Harriet or Blanche…but Daisy? But that’s a small issue compared with the (occasionally unintentionally funny) script. This one seems really chopped down from the source novel (which I haven’t read) but it also appears the novel might not be all that interesting to begin with. In the angst-ridden film, Joan has two men (Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda) after her (because, of course, she’s *that* much woman!). Andrews is married and is having issues considering getting a divorce. Fonda appears, more or less, out of nowhere – he’s also the kind of guy who says “I love you” during a first date (but, again, Joan is *all woman*, of course, so…). When Joan marries Fonda after thinking about it for, oh…two seconds…the real tug-of-war begins between the male rivals. Otto Preminger directed this…apparently with as little interest as everybody else.]

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