Monday, December 27, 2010

Joan Crawford in Della 1964

1964 was a good year for obscure films. Two of the films we've featured in the short history of this blog are from that year - The Visit and Where Love has Gone. Della started out life as the pilot episode of a series called Royal Bay about a town in northern California. Joan Crawford plays the daughter of the town's founder, an uncompromising woman who rules her home with an iron fist and exerts her influence over the town she owns so much of. The story finds a young lawyer attempting to get Della to sell a parcel of land to a government contractor who will bring lots of jobs to the town. He's invited to visit her home in the middle of the night and discovers her and her daughter living in a nocturnal world, sleeping during the day and going about their business during the night hours. He finds the daughter intriguing and is lured into their world with subsequent visits. The relationship eventually takes on tragic proportions.

The film, which is only 70 minutes long, was released as a feature - probably on a double bill, and was lost to obscurity until the late 1980's when it was released on video tape with misleading cover art, under the title Fatal Confinement, no doubt to capitalize on the success of Fatal Attraction. While not a high point in Ms. Crawford's career, she looks fantastic in it, and it does have some fun twists and turns. Also in the cast is Diane Baker in her second turn as Joan's daughter (Straitjacket) and her third time working with Ms. Crawford (The Best of Everything) and Paul Burke, who many of you will remember from his portrayal of Lyon Burke in Valley of the Dolls. You can find the second hand video tapes on, the DVD on and the full version has been uploaded to YouTube by annavissifan. The first installment is above.

Obscurity factor: 8 (practically unknown, available on video tape, at YouTube and on


  1. Loving this blog ... and Della is the first to get a 10/10 in obscurity from me. Thanks for opening new doors of exploration.

  2. Glad you're enjoying it! Yes, Della is a long forgotten title. It's such fun to find new star vehicles, isn't it?