Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Damned Don’t Cry

Steve Cochran, Joan Crawford, and David Brian.

I was not a Joan Crawford fan until Eddie Muller started showing her Warner Brothers catalogue on Noir Alley. She did a string of excellent movies and gave strong performances in all of them. Sure, they were movie star performances, not character actor performances, but if you’ve got star power: flaunt it baby.

The Damned Don’t Cry is a helluva noir melodrama. Crawford plays a social climber who walks over everyone who gets in her way on the way up. It’s a movie with a great title and a stellar performance from Steve Cochran. With the exception of White Heat, Cochran stole every movie he was in. In White Heat, he was an excellent foil for one of Cagney’s finest performances.

In the 1940’s, Vincent Sherman was the director of choice for women stars at Warners. He worked with both Crawford and her rival Bette Davis, and both gave stellar performances under his direction. He lived to be 100 but it’s a pity that he didn’t live to see Feud the Ryan Murphy series about the two divas. I would have loved to hear what he thought. Me, I liked it.

Grading Time: I give The Damned Don’t Cry 4 stars and an Adrastos grade of A-.

If nothing else, it deserves to be rated that high because of the title and the fact that part of it was shot at Sinatra’s Palm Springs crib. It was Steve Cochran’s pad in the movie.

First, the long poster. I’m not sure if that the technical term but don’t get technical with me, okay?

Here’s one of the lobby cards:

I dig both tag lines. I used the promo shot of La Crawford with David Brian and Steve Cochran as the featured image because it’s so damn cheesy. Swiss or cheddar? You decide.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s the Noir Czar’s intro and outro from a 2018 showing on Noir Alley.