"Your love affair with yourself has reached heroic proportions. It doesn’t seem to leave much room for me. Are you sure you can get along without somebody to help you admire yourself?"
Description: - Joan Crawford as Louise Howell Graham puts cold-hearted David Sutton (Van Heflin) through his paces in the motion picture Possessed (1947).
Louise Howell is a nurse with a problem. She is deeply in love with engineer David Sutton, but he is indifferent and takes their relationship with a casual ease. Pleading with David to understand, Louise insists, "I just can't go back to being on the outside of people's lives, looking in." But David coolly replies, "Louise, we're all on the outside of other people's lives, looking in. You wouldn't like being on the inside of my life, anyway. There's-there's nothing there but a few mathematical equations and a lot of question marks."
Eventually David becomes so upset with her possessiveness that he breaks off their relationship and with a recommendation from Dean Graham, takes a job in Canada. Louise pleads with David to take her with him, but he leaves her behind.
"I LOVE YOU is such an inadequate way of saying I love you. It doesn't quite describe how much it hurts sometimes." - Louise Howell
Meanwhile, Louise continues to care for Pauline Graham, the emotionally disturbed wife of Dean Graham (Raymond Massey). When she later dies (suicide by drowning), Louise marries the lonely, elderly widow although she does not love him.
Unfortunately, David reappears in her life and this time he begins to date Carol Graham, her husband's daughter (Geraldine Brooks), whom she hallucinates killing (pushed down a staircase). Louise also begins to believe she killed her husband's former wife, but that, too, is not the case. Fearful of her condition she visits a doctor who concludes she is suffering from neurasthenia and possible schizophrenia.
Upon hearing that David and Carol are engaged, Louise is desperate to reconnect with former lover, but he refuses, saying, "I’m sorry, Louise. You watch temperatures go down and then go up again. In love, there are no relapses. Once you’re out of it, the fever never comes back again." He then demands, "Go home. Leave me alone. I'm sorry Louise, I seldom hit a woman, but if you don't leave me alone I'll wind up kicking babies!"
Unable to handle his rejection, Louise says, "Your not going to marry her (Carol). You're not good enough for her," and kills David with a gun, firing multiple shots. Then, in shock, Louise wanders aimlessly, her mind unable to cope with the reality of what she has done. As she walks past people on the street, she mournfully inquires, "David?"
Louise is hospitalized and psychiatrist, Dr. Harvey Willard helps her to retrace the events leading up to her breakdown, and Louise soon remembers that she killed the only man she truly ever loved.
Fortunately, Louise's husband Dean Graham realizes the anguish Louise is going through and devotes himself to her recovery, which the doctors claim will be possible.
Note: The film begins shortly after Louise has killed David and through a series of flashbacks, she recounts what lead up to her breakdown.
Other films in the same genre where a women obsessively stalks their lover with evil intent include "Play Misty For Me" (1971) starring Clint Eastwood and Jessica Walter; and "Fatal Attraction" (1987), starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close.