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Monday, August 24, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Della Starring Joan Crawford

Even if you're a Joan Crawford fan, you may not have seen Della. That's because it wasn't generally a theatrical release but, rather, NBC's first made-for-tv movie.

In this film, you can imagine how, if Joan had lived long enough, she'd have made a perfect recurring role on Dynasty -- perhaps as Alexis' mother.

In 1964's Della,  Joan plays a wealthy and powerful tycoon in the titular role. She is usually decked out in gowns and jewelry that restore her to her old glamor. Her mysterious and neurotic daughter is portrayed by Diane Baker, who played her daughter in Straight-jacket and also co-starred with Joan in The Best of Everything. Joan gets to seriously bitch-slap her this time around. Actually, this tv-movie was made only months ahead of the William Castle film. Reportedly, the two actresses got along quite well together on the set.

Paul Burke, who later went on to Valley of the Dolls, is in this, too. Anyone else feel JC would have made a great Helen Lawson? Charles Bickford also co-stars and has one dramatic scene along with the star.

Della was intended as a pilot for a soap to be called Royal Bay, though the station felt it would be too expensive to produce on a weekly basis. It did receive limited release in theaters in major cities in the USA.  Now on VCI Vault Classics dvd. I originally saw this in the '90s on VHS when it was dubbed "Fatal Confinement." A perfect at-home midnight movie. Pass the popcorn and the Pepsi!

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