Average review score based on 7 user reviews
Mrs. Geraldine Hayden (Bette Davis) is the epitome of a domineering wealthy matriarch of her family: middle-age adult daughter, sculptress, Valerie Hayden Miller (Susan Hayward); 15yo. granddaughter, Danielle (Danny) Valerie Hayden (Joey Heatherton); son-in-law, war hero, Major Luke Miller (Mike Connors).
After her teenage granddaughter, Danny, is arrested for stabbing to death her daughter Valerie's (Hayward's) most recent lover, Mrs. Hayden's (Davis') unsuccessful, drunkard ex-son-in-law, Luke (Connors), reflects back upon his failed marriage to Danny's successful sculptress mother. Stereotypical of the neo-psychoanalytical 60's, the Harold Robbins story follows Luke's trend of introspective thoughts through the events that built up to the family tragedy. Thus, though the story is primarily about three women's relationships, it's written by a man & conveyed through the perspective of a man who believed being successful was being the bread-winner of "his" family. The gender bias of the story's slip is showing.
By now, it's no secret that these sorted details were based, by Robbins, as a fiction, upon the real-life story of the murder of Johnny Stompanato. That name might not ring a bell to those younger than me. Nor would the so called
"Cheryl Crane murder scandal."
Six years prior to Robbins' 'novel' being played out as a script, Hollywood's own lady with the legendary legs that were insured by Lloyd's of London, Lana Turner, lived out her daughter Cheryl's arrest for stabbing to death Turner's lover (Stompanato). The deadly deed was done in the bedroom of Lana Turner's Beverly Hills mansion.
Even though Mrs. Geraldine Hayden becomes Robbins' victim of yet another 60's psychoanalytic stereotype, mother blame, Bette Davis easily commands the lead even though it was meant for Susan Hayward's character. Davis starred in 2 other major motion pictures in the same year, 1964: "Dead Ringer" & "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte." Davis kept making films until the year of her death at the age of 81 (1989). She also never stopped making major public television appearances. Davis said she wouldn't quit working 'as long as she still had high heels & a makeup case'. Lucky for us she kept her word.
Even though the script was lousy & Hayward verbally assaulted Davis on the set, Davis managed to salvage the movie with her professional prowess. In the final filming, Davis' matriarch came out as she lobbied director Edward Dmytryk for her to be. Davis also tried to arrange a meeting with Hayward to reconcile their differences; but, Hayward wouldn't have it.
Since Hayward was only 9 years younger than Davis, she was in the position of trying to be a character younger than she actually was. Hayward only made 3 motion pictures after this one, dying of brain cancer at the age of 57yo., in 1975.
Davis went on to make 14 more motion pictures; 28 made for television movies; made at least 41 other major public and/or television appearances, & has since appeared in of 47 well-known archived footage presentations.
The character of Mrs. Geraldine Hayden as performed by Bette Davis in 1964 is an important one to remember because it represents how psychoanalytic stereotypes influenced her contemporary peers in society & culture. The archetype of a wealthy, caucasian, widowed, domineering matriarch was
(ab)used by Western societies as a scapegoat for everything that went wrong with the next generation. There's no male equivalent.
Great movie! Bette Davis is a perfect as the Wealthy controling Matriarch. Mike Coners is the handsome War Hero( And handsome he was!)that falls in love with her beautiful Daughter.Love the old scenery and fashion, Good Drama!
I like the story and drama--I didn't like the ending because it was so sad.
I wanted this movie because of the great acting done by Susan Hayward, Bette Davis and Michael Connor and I wanted this movie for my collection.
Susan Hayward is one of my favorite people to watch. Her moveis are always excellent and they are hard to find. Checked ebay and found this one and excited to have it in my collection. The movies back then are the best to watch. No foul language and hardly any bad scenes to see.
I like that I have the move but the condition was pretty damn shabby. The volumne at the beginning through the credits is non-existent that is to say you hear nothing. Once the movie starts though is when the volume kicks in. Love the movie so I went ahead and kept the tape.