- This Woman Is Dangerous (movie 1952) review: Joan Crawford’s final Warner Bros. release, Felix O. Feist’s gangster drama can be – moderately – entertaining as long as you keep your cinematic expectations at the lower end of the spectrum.
This Woman Is Dangerous (movie 1952) review: Warners’ final Joan Crawford star vehicle is a low-grade rehash of her previous efforts
Despite the fact that it has one of my favorite movie titles, the first time I saw Felix O. Feist’s 1952 drama This Woman Is Dangerous I dismissed it as a total waste of time. But on second viewing, it wasn’t so bad.
The film, in fact, is quite watchable as long as you accept it for what it is: A cheap knock-off of Joan Crawford’s earlier Warner Bros. melodramas of love and crime.
For although This Woman Is Dangerous lacks the tawdriness of Michael Curtiz’s Flamingo Road (1949) and the punch of Vincent Sherman’s The Damned Don’t Cry (1950), it does offer a hard-boiled Crawford wearing some nice clothes and getting to snarl lines like, “Tell your adorable little brother to mind his manners before I slap his face!”
Eyes to see the way
This Woman Is Dangerous marked the third time Joan Crawford was teamed with David Brian, who plays tough-talking, deadly gangster Matt Jackson, whose moll, Beth Austin (Crawford) is slowly going blind.
After taking some time off for an operation, Beth is successfully treated by a young and handsome eye surgeon, Dr. Benn Halleck (Dennis Morgan). As it happens, Beth and Dr. Halleck fall in love.
Does that mean she’ll go “straight” from now on?
Of course, all the psychological nonsense found in Daniel Mainwaring and George Worthing Yates’ screenplay – from a story by Bernard Girard – is supposed to illustrate how Beth led a life of crime when her vision was blurry, but then cleared things up once her vision was restored.
The whole affair is hardly convincing, while director Felix E. Feist (The Man Who Cheated Himself, Tomorrow Is Another Day) is no Michael Curtiz or Vincent Sherman.
Just like what had happened during her last years at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Joan Crawford apparently had to take whatever junk Warners threw at her during this time. As it happened, This Woman Is Dangerous was her last film under contract at that studio.
Keep expectations low
Once again to be fair, this melodrama has some good moments.
Case in point: The sequences when Crawford’s Beth Austin goes temporarily blind and reforms her life. We also get to see her bond with a precocious little girl (Sherry Jackson) who’s not nearly as bratty as Veda or Christina.
Just don’t have any high expectations before watching This Woman Is Dangerous.
And by the way, she certainly was.
This Woman Is Dangerous (movie 1952) cast & crew
Director: Felix E. Feist.
Screenplay: Daniel Mainwaring (as Geoffrey Homes) & George Worthing Yates.
From Bernard Girard’s story “Stab of Pain.”
Cast: Joan Crawford, Dennis Morgan, David Brian, Richard Webb, Mari Aldon, Philip Carey, Ian MacDonald, Katherine Warren.
Cinematography: Ted McCord.
Film Editing: James C. Moore.
Music: David Buttolph.
Art Direction: Leo K. Kuter.
Producer: Robert Sisk.
Production Company | Distributor: Warner Bros.
Running Time: 100 min.
Country: United States.
“This Woman Is Dangerous (Movie 1952): Low-Caliber Joan Crawford Farewell” review text © Danny Fortune; excerpt, image captions, bullet point introduction, and notes © Alt Film Guide.
“This Woman Is Dangerous (Movie 1952): Low-Caliber Joan Crawford Farewell” notes
This Woman Is Dangerous movie credits via the American Film Institute (AFI) Catalog website.
Dennis Morgan and Joan Crawford This Woman Is Dangerous image: Warner Bros.
“This Woman Is Dangerous (Movie 1952): Low-Caliber Joan Crawford Farewell” last updated in April 2023.