Craig's Wife (1936 film)

Craig's Wife is a 1936 American drama film starring Rosalind Russell as a domineering wife.[1] It was based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play of the same name by George Kelly (the uncle of Grace Kelly),[2] and directed by Dorothy Arzner. Former MGM star William Haines was the film's production designer. Previously filmed in 1928, Craig's Wife was remade in 1950 as Harriet Craig, rewritten (and updated) as a vehicle for Joan Crawford and co-starring Wendell Corey.

Craig's Wife
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDorothy Arzner
Produced byHarry Cohn
Written byMary C. McCall Jr.
Based onCraig's Wife
1925 play
by George Kelly
StarringRosalind Russell
John Boles
Music byR.H. Bassett
Emil Gerstenberger
Milan Roder
CinematographyLucien Ballard
Edited byViola Lawrence
Columbia Pictures
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • September 25, 1936 (1936-09-25)
Running time
74 minutes
CountryUnited States


The plot centers on twenty-four hours in the life of Harriet Craig (Rosalind Russell), and the home life she has created for herself and her husband. Harriet values material things more than her husband and goes to great lengths to protect her life as she has created it, regardless of what the outcomes are to those around her. The story's message is stated by Mr. Craig's aunt, Ellen Austen (Alma Kruger), who says, "Those who live for themselves, are left to themselves," as one by one, all her disgusted family and servants abandon her, leaving her entirely on her own.[3]



  • Louella Parsons wrote, "How well I remember 'Craig's Wife," a typical woman's play, and it's smart business therefore not only to sign Rosalind, but to hand the direction over to Dorothy Arzner, the only woman director in the business."[4]
  • "The supporting cast of 'Craig's Wife' is one of the strongest ever to be assembled in one picture."[5]
  • "This dynamic drama, baring the life of all womankind, is a screen triumph no wife or sweetheart dare miss! ... The play that electrified Broadway and won the Pulitzer prize, now lays bare the heart of a woman and her consuming passion!"[6]
  • "'Craig's Wife' is likely to appeal chiefly to women audiences and to attract attention mainly from those who demand that their movies be intelligent. It deserves better treatment than that for it is well made and excellently played."[7]


  1. "getTV Celebrates Rosalind Russell in June; Highlights include classic favorites starring Russell opposite Melvyn Douglas, Kim Novak, Sid Caesar, and Ray Milland" (June 1, 2015) Cinema Sentries
  2. "'Craig's Wife' to be Shown for Two Days" (January 1, 1936) Santa Rosa News, New Mexico
  3. "Icon of the Week; Rosalind Russell" Archived 2015-06-06 at the Wayback Machine (June 2015) getTVWeb page not available
  4. "He Signs for 2 a Year" (June 9, 1936) San Antonio Light
  5. "Movies" (Nov 9, 1936) Harrisonburg Daily News Record
  6. "Unholy Love of 'Craig's Wife' Talk of Town" (Nov 27, 1936) Port Neches Chronicle, Vol. 5, No. 34, Texas
  7. "Craig's Wife is Vehicle for Miss Russell" (Jan 22, 1937) Oakland Tribune

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