“The Cobweb” Tug of War Among Women (Chicago Tribune 1955)

Chicago Tribune – Wednesday, September 28, 1955 – Page 35

Tug of War Among Women

Theme for a Psychiatry Film

“The Cobweb”

Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, in color and Cinemascope, directed by Vincente Minnelli, from the novel by William Gibson, and presented at McVickers theater.

The Cast:

  • Dr. Stuart McIver …….…. Richard Widmark
  • Meg Faversen Rinehart …….. Lauren Bacall
  • Dr. Douglas N. Devanal …….. Charles Boyer
  • Karen McIver …………….….. Gloria Grahame
  • Victoria Inch ………….……………. Lillian Gish
  • Steven W. Holte ………..…………… John Kerr
  • Sue Brett …………..….……… Susan Strasberg
  • Mr. Capp ………….……..……….. Oscar Levant
  • Mark ………………………….……. Tommy Rettig
  • Dr. Otto Wolff ……………..……. Paul Stewart
  • Lois Y. Demuth ………..………… Jarma Lewis
  • Miss Cobb ………………..…….. Adele Jergens
  • Mr. Holcomb …………..…………. Edgar Stehll
  • Rosemary …………….……….. Sandra Descher

By Mae Tinee

This handsomely produced film spins an interesting tale of a major crisis precipitated by a minor matter in a psychiatric clinic. An excellent cast demonstrates what can happen when three women disagree about selection of draperies for one room in a lavish establishment for the mental ill. The story reveals that many healers are almost as tortured and unhappy as their patients.

Richard Widmark is effective as a physician with a sullen wife, who takes it upon herself to select an elaborately flowered material for the windows. She gets her way by surreptitious meetings with Charles Boyer, nominal head of the institution, a playboy and a secret drinker.

Lauren Bacall is a recreational director, who wants the hangings to be prints of some designs made by a talented patient.

Lillian Gish wants another pattern dictated by her stinginess and possessiveness. The women’s tug of war creates havoc among personnel and patients. John Kerr gives an arresting performance as a psychotic young man an Susan Strasberg is appealing as a frightened girl.

Nothing much is resolved in the finale, in spite of the fact that the film runs more than two hours. All of the acting is skillful, the story is nicely paced, and the settings will interest anyone with an eye for striking interior decoration.

Cobweb – Photo Gallery

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