Strait Jacket/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Strait Jacket
  • Film debut of Lee Majors, who got the small role of playing Lucy Harbin's (Joan Crawford's) husband in the flashback scene after his good friend Rock Hudson asked William Castle to please find a part for the twenty-three-year-old actor. He adopted his stage name because Joan Crawford had trouble pronouncing his real name (Harvey Lee Yeary).
  • In the kitchen scenes at the beginning of the movie, a carton of Pepsi-Cola is prominently displayed on the counter. Joan Crawford was the widow of Alfred Steele, who had been CEO of the Pepsi-Cola Company, and at the time of filming Crawford, still on the Board of Directors, demanded that product placement shots be included in all of her films of this era. Mitchell Cox (Dr. Anderson) was not an actor, but was the Vice President of the Pepsi-Cola Company. Joan Crawford had made this arrangement without consulting with Producer William Castle.
  • Joan Crawford required the script be completely re-written to her specifications before she agreed to sign on to the film. She had script and cast approval.
  • When Diane Baker was offered the role of Carol, replacing another actress, she had to begin shooting her scenes the next day.
  • Joan Blondell was originally set to play the title role, but because of an accident, she was replaced with Joan Crawford
  • When Christina Crawford's memoir Mommie Dearest caused an uproar about Joan Crawford's lack of parental skills, sarcastic t-shirts were manufactured featuring the image of Crawford wielding an axe from this film above the words: "Joan Crawford Daycare Center."
  • The sculpture of Joan Crawford used in the film was real, created by Yucca Salamunich, a Yugoslav artist. The sculpture was originally presented to Crawford in 1941 on the set of A Woman's Face (1941).
  • The original version of the script (initially slated to star Joan Blondell) reportedly involved a murderer who disguised herself by committing crimes while wearing an inflatable "fat" suit, an idea abandoned somewhere in pre-production before Joan Crawford replaced Blondell.
  • The children's rhyme chanted in the movie, "Lucy Harbin took an ax, gave her husband forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave his girlfriend forty-one", is based on the famous rhyme about Lizzie Andrew Borden: "Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave her father forty-one."
  • The sound effect for the heads being chopped off was the prop man wielding an ax and cutting a watermelon in half.
  • The second of two consecutive films, the first being Della (1965), in which Joan Crawford and Diane Baker played mother and daughter. Both projects were filmed only a few months apart.
  • Cast boasts two Oscar winners: Joan Crawford and George Kennedy.
  • Leslie Parrish and Anne Helm were signed to play Carol before Diane Baker finally got the part.
  • This film is listed among The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book THE OFFICIAL RAZZIE® MOVIE GUIDE.
  • Edith Atwater (Mrs. Fields) had a small role in the Joan Crawford film The Gorgeous Hussy (1936).
  • The automobile that Carol Cutler (Diane Baker) is driving is a Fiat 600.
  • After nearly ninety films over forty years, this proved to be yet another hit film for the durable Joan Crawford.
  • Director William Castle had met Joan Crawford at a party.
  • Around 45 minutes into the film, Joan Crawford works into the story one of her favorite hobbies: knitting. She was famous for knitting during down times on the set, and her knitting was featured in "women's" magazines of the day.
  • At the end of the movie, the Columbia Pictures "lady" is missing her head.
  • William Castle says in his biography that Joan Crawford was not difficult at all to work with, only a real perfectionist. It was his best experience in life; And he could not resist to use a gimmick for the film, as he did for the previous ones: at the theaters, he gave out cardboard axes streaked with simulated blood.
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