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'Della' (1965) Robert Gist.

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  • 'Della' (1965) Robert Gist.

    Musty old TV melodramas have long been wholly irresistible to me, and Robert Gist's surprisingly engaging, deliciously overwrought 60s potboiler 'Della' is made that much more of a divine divertissement by the indomitable, steely-haired presence of her imperious acting majesty Joan Crawford, on bravura form as the powerful, domineering, monstrously manipulative multimillionaire matriarch Della Chappel. Deliberately isolated from society along with her desperately lonely, strikingly beautiful, singularly afflicted daughter Jenny (Diane Baker), both lavishly imprisoned within their oppressively vast abode. To say that 'Della' is a trifle camp in its execution is no less of a garish understatement as to claim that fleet-fingered pianist Liberace only occasionally favoured colourful outfits! Apparently 'Della' was a TV pilot that failed to ignite, but I earnestly feel that this rickety property should promptly be given to John Waters to boisterously recamp, as in these increasingly moribund times, a hyperbolically lurid reboot of 'Della' might be just what Dr. feelgood ordered! Ah! yes, and it would be grievously remiss of me to omit deservedly high praises for hunky actor Paul Burke's fine performance as granite tough, upwardly mobile moneymaker Paul Stafford.

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