Woman Obsessed

Woman Obsessed is a 1959 romantic DeLuxe Color drama film in CinemaScope directed by Henry Hathaway and starring Susan Hayward, Stephen Boyd, Barbara Nichols, Dennis Holmes, Theodore Bikel, Ken Scott, James Philbrook, and Florence MacMichael. The screenplay concerns the hardships faced by a widow and her eight-year-old son on a rugged Canadian ranch.

Woman Obsessed
Directed byHenry Hathaway
Produced bySydney Boehm
Screenplay bySydney Boehm
Based onThe Snow Birch (1958 novel)
by John Mantley[1]
StarringSusan Hayward
Stephen Boyd
Barbara Nichols
Dennis Holmes
Theodore Bikel
Ken Scott
James Philbrook
Florence MacMichael
Music byHugo Friedhofer
CinematographyWilliam C. Mellor
Leon Shamroy
Edited byRobert L. Simpson
Distributed byTwentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Release date
May 27, 1959 (1959-05-27)
Running time
102 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.3 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)[3]

Plot summary

Mary Sharron (Susan Hayward) has lost her husband to a forest fire. To help her run the ranch, she hires Fred Carter (Stephen Boyd), a handy man. A handsome, but taciturn fellow who has known much tragedy, Fred works hard for her. Robbie Sharron (Dennis Holmes), the woman's son, resents him, and when he learns that his mother is planning to marry him to quell ugly rumors in town, the youth is most unhappy. After the wedding, the stepfather treats the boy harshly, not out of cruelty, but because he wants to prepare the boy to survive the tough life ahead. This creates friction and frustration. Sometimes Fred beats both Mary and Robbie. On the day the wife learns she is pregnant, Robbie and Fred get into a violent fight.

Afterwards Fred goes to the local saloon and ends up jailed for brawling. A month later he is released. When he gets home he finds Mary has moved his things to the barn. A natural disaster changes the family's lives and relationships and after much turmoil, honesty and pain gives them a chance to heal and start afresh.[4]



Although Woman Obsessed is a non-musical film, in addition to Hugo Friedhofer, nine additional top-name musicians were involved in the creation of the score. They include Earle Hagen, orchestrator; Lionel Newman, conductor; David Buttolph, Leigh Harline and Alfred Newman, composers of additional music; and Alexander Courage, Gus Levene, Arthur Morton and Edward B. Powell, orchestrators.


  1. http://www.royalbooks.com/pages/books/132457/henry-hathaway-director-john-mantley-novel-sydney-boehm-screenwriter-stephen-boyd-susan-hayward/woman-obsessed-collection-of-8-stills-from-the-1959-film
  2. Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1. p252
  3. "1959: Probable Domestic Take", Variety, 6 January 1960 p 34
  4. http://www.allmovie.com/work/woman-obsessed-130013
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