The Cinema Museum, London

Kennington Noir presents The Damned Don’t Cry (1950)

Wed 24 May 2023 @ 19:30 · Events

The Damned Don’t Cry The Damned Don’t Cry (1950), directed by Vincent Sherman, with Joan Crawford, David Brian, and Steve Cochran.

Another quality Warner Bros production with another strong lead from Joan Crawford, who plays a housewife posing as a New York socialite, climbing the ladder of success, man by man, until her new life among rich gangsters gives her what she thought she always wanted.

Vincent Sherman directs with verve and economy, ensuring the story unfolds in broad strokes and dramatic flourishes. Boiling with ambition and hunger, Joan reinvents herself from frumpy smalltown hausfrau Edith Whitehead into elegant heiress Lorna Hansen Forbes (“the darling of café society”) under the tutelage of her new friend, shifty posh-voiced grifter Patricia Longworth (exquisitely performed with the perfect amount of patrician anxiety by scene-stealing Selena Royle). Sherman neatly contrasts Edith’s discarded working-class origins (derricks pumping in the Texas oil fields belching sooty plumes of pollution, blue collar men in hardhats and overalls, a wardrobe of cloth coats and aprons, no make-up, scraped-back hair) with the signifiers of Lorna’s new realm (cocktails – vermouth and cassis! – , gold cigarette cases, mink coats, orchids, swimming pools). Edith / Lorna must choose between impoverished, honest (and dull) accountant Marty Blackford (Kent Smith) or sociopathic but rich and suave organized crime kingpin George Castleman (David Brian). But then mid-way through the film, Castleman’s dangerously volatile mobster associate Nick Prenta (Steve Cochran) arrives, and ….. Now watch on.

16mm film screening.

Doors open at 18.30, for a 19.30 start.

Refreshments will be available in our licensed cafe/bar.


Tickets £8.

Advance tickets may be purchased from Ticketlab, or direct from the Museum by calling 020 7840 2200 in office hours.
The Damned Don’t Cry