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The Damned Don’t Cry
Directed by Vincent Sherman • 1950 • United States
Starring Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran
In the first of her three collaborations with director Vincent Sherman, Joan Crawford brings commanding presence and hard-boiled glamour to her portrayal of a woman who uses and abandons men to claw her way from poverty to wealth and social status. Ethel Whitehead (Crawford) leaves her laborer husband and squalid factory town behind to find a new, better life. She uses a quiet accountant who adores her to meet a rich gangster, learns to carry herself as a socialite, and leads a life of wealth and luxury as the kept woman of the mobster. But her ambition doesn’t stop there, and she engineers a rivalry between the city’s two leading underworld kingpins—a rivalry that could lead to the ruin of everything she has fought to gain.