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Joan Crawford and others

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moira finnie
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Postby moira finnie » December 7th, 2007, 9:40 am

I think that I'll call this chapter of my cinematic adventures "Live and Learn Part CXXVVIII", okay?

Whew, what's that smell?? Must be Jeanne Eagels (1957). Hmmm, so much for the cinematic memories of girlhood. This movie was purty bad, don't you think, kids? Sometimes there's a good reason why movies lie mouldering in the vault. This one wasn't going to do a thing for the likable, talented people who appeared in it, except for one: Virginia Grey
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Ms. Grey was wonderfully touching and managed to almost evoke a real person in her few moments on screen as an actress at the end of her tether. My thanks for the heads up about her acting in this flick over on the TCM board, Mongo. With my usual amnesia for dimly remembered movies, I didn't recall her presence at all.

All the other poor actors were in desperate need of good, firm direction and a less hackneyed script. One thing that this movie did make one wish was to learn a few facts about Jeanne Eagels, now that I've seen what I suspect is largely the fanciful version again. And, interestingly, I've learned that one other reason that this movie might've been out of sight for so long was that Eagels' family apparently sued Columbia for their distortion of the facts of her life.

Poor Kim Novak. She's obviously working like a ditch-digger to evoke the doomed glamour of this actress, but with little visible support from from the script. Jeff Chandler hadn't much to do either but appear to be Mr. Nice Guy who, not so mysteriously, perhaps, doffed his shirt every other scene. The next to last scene in this movie with Kim Novak descending the stairs was delightfully over the top, but most of this movie made me laugh derisively at the movie and my younger self, who ate this nonsense up last time I saw it at about age 11.

I'm still hoping that someday TCM will be able to show some of the few fragments of the real Jeanne Eagels left on film, such as her role in The Letter (1929).

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » December 7th, 2007, 12:15 pm

Thanks, Moira. I'm glad I didn't waste any recording time on the movie. Although, the thought of Chandler with his shirt off . . . . . . .

I suppose TCM will run it ad nauseam now that they've broken the ice, so we'll all get a chance to smell it.

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Postby moira finnie » March 23rd, 2008, 6:40 pm

Happy 100th Birthday, Joan Crawford!
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Dear Ms. Crawford,
As someone who has mocked you out on more than one occasion, I would like to send you my sincere felicitations: your efforts to entertain and stay on top of the heap for lo these many years have touched me at times (especially in Grand Hotel, Mannequin, A Woman's Face & Daisy Kenyon), given me a vibrant, feminine example of how to be independent (and how being independent can change you in ways you could not have anticipated in a thousand years) as well as giving me many a laugh. I hope that you finally are somewhere enjoying a rest from all that ceaseless effort that you felt necessary to live.

As part of tonight's celebration of your centennial on TCM I'll be front row center to catch your appearance in the very entertaining Torch Song at 11:30pm. Haven't seen this doozie in decades, but do remember being quite taken aback as a kid when you show up in blackface...and show off that fearsome, well-maintained bod of yours for all the whippersnappers in Hollywood to see how it's done. I also should thank you for this performance since it provided the inspiration for one of the most amusing Carol Burnett skits ever!! Thanks for everything, kid.
Your most ambivalent but respectful fan,
moira

Please click here to view the highly amusing Torch Song Trailer

Here's a link to an article about this movie as part of the 100th anniversary of Joan's birth. I hope others will chime in here with comments about the great lineup of Crawford films (see below) beginning tonight at 8pm sharp! Gotta go make sure everything is nice and neat the way you like it before you arrive in my living room tonight.

8:00 PM
Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002)
A TCM original documentary that examines Crawford's life and unparalleled movie career. Narrated by Angelica Huston. BW-87 mins, TV-14, CC

9:30 PM
Mildred Pierce (1945)
A woman turns herself into a business tycoon to win her selfish daughter a place in society. Cast: Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth, Jack Carson. Dir: Michael Curtiz. BW-111 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

11:30 PM
Torch Song (1953)
A tempestuous musical theatre star falls for a blind pianist. Cast: Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding, Gig Young. Dir: Charles Walters. C-90 mins, TV-G

1:09 AM
Short Film: Joan Crawford Biography (1962)
BW-4 mins

1:15 AM
Spring Fever (1927)
In this silent film, a shipping clerk pretends to be a champion golfer to win an heiress' heart. Cast: William Haines, Joan Crawford, George K. Arthur. Dir: Edward Sedgwick. BW-78 mins, TV-G

2:30 AM
Grand Hotel (1932)
Guests at a posh Berlin hotel struggle through scandal and heartache. Cast: Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-113 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

4:45 AM
Dancing Lady (1933)
A musical star is torn between a millionaire playboy and her stage manager. Cast: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard. BW-92 mins, TV-G, CC

6:30 AM
Sadie McKee (1934)
A working girl suffers through three troubled relationships on her road to prosperity. Cast: Joan Crawford, Franchot Tone, Gene Raymond. Dir: Clarence Brown. BW-93 mins, TV-G, CC

8:15 AM
The Last Of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)
A chic jewel thief in England falls in love with one of her marks. Cast: Joan Crawford, Robert Montgomery, William Powell. Dir: Richard Boleslawski. BW-98 mins, TV-G, CC

10:00 AM
The Women (1939)
A happily married woman lets her catty friends talk her into divorce when her husband strays. Cast: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell. Dir: George Cukor. BW-133 mins, TV-PG, CC, DVS

12:15 PM
A Woman's Face (1941)
Plastic surgery gives a scarred female criminal a new outlook on life. Cast: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt. Dir: George Cukor. BW-106 mins, TV-PG, CC

2:15 PM
They All Kissed the Bride (1942)
A woman running a trucking company falls for the reporter out to expose her business practices. Cast: Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Roland Young. Dir: Alexander Hall. BW-87 mins, TV-PG, Letterbox Format

3:45 PM
Humoresque (1946)
A classical musician from the slums is sidetracked by his love for a wealthy neurotic. Cast: Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant. Dir: Jean Negulesco. BW-125 mins, TV-PG, CC

6:00 PM
Harriet Craig (1950)
A woman's devotion to her home drives away friends and family. Cast: Joan Crawford, Wendell Corey, Lucile Watson. Dir: Vincent Sherman. BW-94 mins, TV-PG
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Postby charliechaplinfan » March 24th, 2008, 8:23 am

Happy birthday Joan :D

I was surprised that she was only born in 1908. I thought it was more like 1904, so I popped on to imdb which gives her birth date as 1905.

If Joan gave her birthdate as 1908 that's good enough for me. :D
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Postby movieman1957 » March 24th, 2008, 8:44 am

Osborne mentioned in the opening to the documentary (which probably was not on for you) that her official social security records had her DOB as 1908. He did acknowledge there is some question to the real date.
Chris

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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Postby moira finnie » March 24th, 2008, 9:24 am

Osborne mentioned in the opening to the documentary (which probably was not on for you) that her official social security records had her DOB as 1908. He did acknowledge there is some question to the real date.


Hi Chris,
I noticed that in the documentary itself her birth date was given as 1906. As Mr. Osborne alluded to in his opening remarks, who knows what any actress' real birth date might be.
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Postby charliechaplinfan » March 24th, 2008, 2:41 pm

I didn't see the TCM documentary. Our TCM is much different than yours. She won't be the first actress to change her birthdate.

Does anyone else notice that as years go by celebirites that were the same age or older than you are suddenly 2 or 3 years younger? 8) If this carries on when I'm sixty I'm sure these celebs will only be late 40's or 50 :shock: .
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

jdb1

Postby jdb1 » March 24th, 2008, 2:50 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:I didn't see the TCM documentary. Our TCM is much different than yours. She won't be the first actress to change her birthdate.

Does anyone else notice that as years go by celebirites that were the same age or older than you are suddenly 2 or 3 years younger? 8) If this carries on when I'm sixty I'm sure these celebs will only be late 40's or 50 :shock: .


Yes - I think that all the time. It's not that their ages are in question, but that I've aged. When I started watching movies as a girl, all the actors seemed so mature, and now so many of them look so young innocent. This is especially true of the male rock stars of my day - they look so green to me now, but at the time they seemed impossibly old and wise. But then, I feel the same way about policemen and firemen and such - nowadays I often think: what's that kid doing driving a city bus?

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Postby knitwit45 » March 24th, 2008, 2:55 pm

Wait till you get called "Ma'm" by someone in authority...Like a policeman. I've always said "Sir", but the first time a young, green cop said "Yes, Ma'm" to me, I looked around to see who the old gal was.....
:shock:

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Re: Joan Crawford and others

Postby Vienna » December 16th, 2012, 1:22 pm

Nice to catch up on this thread. I'm a fan of all three movies,especially SUDDEN FEAR. Jack Palance had a lovely speaking voice. He and Gloria Grahame made a great twosome as they tried to arrange Joan's death.
Of course the whole idea of Joan planning revenge was far fetched - but enjoyable!
And that scene in Gloria's apartment near the end had me on the edge of my seat.
FEMALE ON THE BEACH has great atmosphere. Some time was spent telling us, through voice-over, the tragic back story of the lady whom Chandler romanced , with Joan reading the woman's diary. Quite moving and real.Cant recall the name of the actress but she was very good.
Jan Sterling also good.and small but good part for Charles Drake.
Maybe AUTUMN LEAVES needed Douglas Sirk's touch and maybe it was too melodramatic, but I like it.
Joan didn't age all that well in the 50s and no one will ever forget that scene in TORCH SONG where she is in black face, with that terrible makeup on. Heaven knows what the producer and director were thinking of.

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Re: Joan Crawford and others

Postby JackFavell » December 22nd, 2012, 1:27 pm

I have liked all the Joan Crawford movies I've seen except Torch Song. Even the ones most likely to get snickered at. My favorite is BERSERK.

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Re: Joan Crawford and others

Postby moira finnie » December 22nd, 2012, 3:09 pm

JackFavell wrote:I have liked all the Joan Crawford movies I've seen except Torch Song. Even the ones most likely to get snickered at. My favorite is BERSERK.

Are you saying that out of all of Crawford's movies, Beserk (1967) is your favorite? :shock: :o
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Re: Joan Crawford and others

Postby JackFavell » December 22nd, 2012, 4:00 pm

Oh, no! I mean of the ones that get a bad rep, her 50's and 60's films, this is the one I like best.

Pretty much in any movie, Joan gets the job done and done well.

My favorite Joan performance? hmmm. That's actually hard, I have a few that I really love. Then there are those that I think are just great, acting wise.

Alright, as of today anyway, these are my favorite performances, in order.

1. A Woman's Face

2. Grand Hotel

3. Rain

4. Our Dancing Daughters

5. The Women

6. The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

7. Johnny Guitar

8. Berserk

9. Paid

10. Daisy Kenyon

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Re: Joan Crawford and others

Postby moira finnie » December 22nd, 2012, 6:45 pm

Thank you for the clarification. I was in shock before. The only movie I don't "get" on your list is The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937), even though I like William Powell a great deal. It is probably due to my "allergy" to Robert Montgomery (I know, I'm a peasant) and I don't like Joan's roles when she gets sort of "la dee dah" and mock English. I like her earthier shop girls on the make much more. I think they came out of a deeper part of her starved soul.
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