Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford Quick Links

News Pictures Film Quotes RSS

L, Vertigo, R, Kim Novak, Madeleine Elster, Mildred Pierce and Joan Crawford - L) Vertigo - Kim Novak as Madeleine Elster; (R) Mildred Pierce - Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce Wednesday 17th October 2012 Hollywood Costume - press view held at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

L, Vertigo, R, Kim Novak, Madeleine Elster, Mildred Pierce and Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford and Cannes Film Festival Thursday 17th May 2012 Joan Crawford arrives for the screening of 'De Rouille et D'Os' (Rust and Bone) presented in competition at the 65th Cannes film festival

Joan Crawford and Cannes Film Festival
Joan Crawford and Cannes Film Festival

The Women (1939) Review


Excellent
Although one could have fun imagining a film in which Rosalind Russell and Joan Crawford are simply tossed into a tiger cage and fight to the death, the 1939 film The Women will do just fine in its stead. Adapted from the hit stage play by Clare Booth Luce, it's a gabby, urbane comedy that takes a (for its time, especially) steadfast look at adultery, divorce, and why men court idiocy with such abandon. It also takes its title quite seriously, with not a single male appearing onscreen.

The film is powered by a can't-miss trio of top-line actresses, all playing to their strengths. Norma Shearer is the gentle and naïve Mary Haines, whose husband Stephen has been stepping out on her with Crystal Allen (Crawford, at 35 maybe a little long in the tooth to play a perfume counter girl, but you try telling her that...), a fact that is known to everybody in New York save Mary due to the gossipy efforts of Sylvia Fowler (Russell, firing on all bitchy cylinders). It's a slow build-up to Mary's discovery of the truth, with an intricate elaboration of the social circle she runs in and the backstabbing that it's rife with - her purported friends making absolutely sure that not only does she find out the awful truth, but that they're there to witness her reaction.

Continue reading: The Women (1939) Review

Grand Hotel Review


Good
"People come and people go, and nothing ever happens at the Grand Hotel." Thus observes Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone) of the Berlin hotel that serves as the setting for the Oscar-winning 1932 film. The film, like the hotel, is packed with opulence, and the cast was, at the time, the highest concentration of starpower the screen had ever seen: Greta Garbo as the dancer Grusinskaya whose cold surface is softened by a budding romance with Baron Geigern (John Barrymore); Lionel Barrymore as Otto Kringelein, a critically ill man on an end-of-his-life spree and a former employee of the company owned by the industrialist Preysing (Wallace Beery), whom he dislikes; Joan Crawford as the staff typist who takes up with the sick man; and a supporting cast -- Jean Hersholt, Robert McWade, Ferdinand Gottschalk -- whose fame has dimmed today, but who represented the cream of the crop in a Depression-stricken America.

In 1932, however, the sum was even greater than its parts, and Grand Hotel was such an event that the New York Times review had as much to do with the chaos of the opening-night crowd as with the film itself. Based on the hit Vicki Baum novel, the film introduced the so-called portmanteau genre (Dinner at Eight was the most famed of the follow-ups) in which the lives and stories of a group of diverse people are brought together by circumstances and emerge changed. It also featured Garbo's most repeated line ("I want to be alone"), and its lavish production makes it a touchstone in MGM and Hollywood history.

Continue reading: Grand Hotel Review

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Review


Essential
Watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? fills one with a sense of nostalgia for a time they may never have known but can always relive. In 1962, Baby Jane's year of birth, the cinema was a wonderful place to be. Films mattered, genres were being stretched, and classics were produced. To Kill a Mockingbird, Lolita, The Manchurian Candidate, Lawrence of Arabia, and Baby Jane - it was quite a year. It was also the time when the late Bette Davis, Hollywood's own Elizabethan matriarch, was performing. A vehicle for Davis and archrival Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a stunning testimony to a golden age.

Baby Jane Hudson (played in her older years by a gloriously dilapidated Davis) was a star. As a goldie-locked kindergarten beauty, Baby Jane performed to sold-out audiences in 1917. Sister Blanche, then the plainer of the two, was always reminded of that depressing reality. Standing off-stage left, enviously watching her sister screech through a set of syrupy "I love you daddy" numbers, Blanche could only dream of a future when the audience's eyes and inclinations might shift. And they do. Flashing decades forward with superb audacity, director Robert Aldrich introduces us to a new world, where Blanche is a superstar who, though crippled, is still adored by her fans. Baby Jane is as Baby Jane was destined to be, a pale shadow of her juvenile success.

Continue reading: What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Review

What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Review


Essential
Watching What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? fills one with a sense of nostalgia for a time they may never have known but can always relive. In 1962, Baby Jane's year of birth, the cinema was a wonderful place to be. Films mattered, genres were being stretched, and classics were produced. To Kill a Mockingbird, Lolita, The Manchurian Candidate, Lawrence of Arabia, and Baby Jane - it was quite a year. It was also the time when the late Bette Davis, Hollywood's own Elizabethan matriarch, was performing. A vehicle for Davis and archrival Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a stunning testimony to a golden age.

Baby Jane Hudson (played in her older years by a gloriously dilapidated Davis) was a star. As a goldie-locked kindergarten beauty, Baby Jane performed to sold-out audiences in 1917. Sister Blanche, then the plainer of the two, was always reminded of that depressing reality. Standing off-stage left, enviously watching her sister screech through a set of syrupy "I love you daddy" numbers, Blanche could only dream of a future when the audience's eyes and inclinations might shift. And they do. Flashing decades forward with superb audacity, director Robert Aldrich introduces us to a new world, where Blanche is a superstar who, though crippled, is still adored by her fans. Baby Jane is as Baby Jane was destined to be, a pale shadow of her juvenile success.

Continue reading: What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? Review

Possessed Review


Good
Joan Crawford channels Joan Crawford in Possessed, a prototypical part for the stark actress.

Crawford plays Louise, who is introduced to us as she dazedly walks into a diner, asking for a man named David. After she collapses, she's hauled off to the mental hospital, where the doctors shake their heads and shrug. Flashbacks reveal why Louise is in such a state: She's kinda nuts, and the last thread snapped after she killed the mysterious David (Van Heflin).

Continue reading: Possessed Review

I Saw What You Did Review


Very Good
William Castle pulled out all the stops for I Saw What You Did, an effective -- if not entirely "scary" -- thriller based on a timeless idea: What if you randomly crank-called a guy and said "I saw what you did" when her really did just murder his wife? It's a hokey version of Rear Window, complete with all of Castle's usual parlor tricks. This is one terror tale that is strangely still suitable for all ages. Lots of fun.

The Damned Don't Cry Review


Very Good
Crawford is absolute fine in The Damned Don't Cry, but the film isn't entirely memorable on the whole. Crawford opens the film implicated in a murder. Flashbacks (courtesy of cliched, over-eager police interrogators) reveal her life story as she claws her way through man after man to get to the top, baby! Naturally she winds up involved with the mob, while we are left to shudder at her poor decision-making ability.

Humoresque Review


Very Good
Joan Crawford in a wacky comedy? With a name like Humoresque you might be expecting something lighthearted and fun. But no: The title refers to a Dvorak symphony, and Humoresque is anything but funny.

John Garfield was a wildly popular actor in his day, and this is regarded as one of his best performances, if not the very top. The story is one of obsession: Garfield's Paul Boray is an ambitious violin player who's quickly rising to the top of his profession. Crawford is Helen Wright, who's smitten with him and funds his life's work. But Boray doesn't have room in his life for two loves, so Wright gets the perpetual cold shoulder. Her last moments of screen time are as haunting as they are inevitable.

Continue reading: Humoresque Review

Grand Hotel Review


Good
"People come and people go, and nothing ever happens at the Grand Hotel." Thus observes Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone) of the Berlin hotel that serves as the setting for the Oscar-winning 1932 film. The film, like the hotel, is packed with opulence, and the cast was, at the time, the highest concentration of starpower the screen had ever seen: Greta Garbo as the dancer Grusinskaya whose cold surface is softened by a budding romance with Baron Geigern (John Barrymore); Lionel Barrymore as Otto Kringelein, a critically ill man on an end-of-his-life spree and a former employee of the company owned by the industrialist Preysing (Wallace Beery), whom he dislikes; Joan Crawford as the staff typist who takes up with the sick man; and a supporting cast -- Jean Hersholt, Robert McWade, Ferdinand Gottschalk -- whose fame has dimmed today, but who represented the cream of the crop in a Depression-stricken America.

In 1932, however, the sum was even greater than its parts, and Grand Hotel was such an event that the New York Times review had as much to do with the chaos of the opening-night crowd as with the film itself. Based on the hit Vicki Baum novel, the film introduced the so-called portmanteau genre (Dinner at Eight was the most famed of the follow-ups) in which the lives and stories of a group of diverse people are brought together by circumstances and emerge changed. It also featured Garbo's most repeated line ("I want to be alone"), and its lavish production makes it a touchstone in MGM and Hollywood history.

Continue reading: Grand Hotel Review

Strait-Jacket Review


Excellent
One of William Castle and Joan Crawford's respective greats, this campy horror classic isn't just a showpiece for Crawford's maniacal performance, it's also genuinely scary. She's just out of the loonie bin after serving 20 years for murdering her husband and his lover (oops, the kid was watching). She returns home to live with her daughter (Diane Baker), and the body count swiftly resumes again. Harrowing, with a fun twist at the end.
Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford Quick Links

News Pictures Film Quotes RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Joan Crawford Movies

Grand Hotel Movie Review

Grand Hotel Movie Review

"People come and people go, and nothing ever happens at the Grand Hotel." Thus observes...

Grand Hotel Movie Review

Grand Hotel Movie Review

"People come and people go, and nothing ever happens at the Grand Hotel." Thus observes...

Mildred Pierce Movie Review

Mildred Pierce Movie Review

Joan Crawford's Oscar-winning performance in 1945's Mildred Pierce was a career pinnacle she reached after...

The Women Movie Review

The Women Movie Review

Although one could have fun imagining a film in which Rosalind Russell and Joan Crawford...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.