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BoundByNostalgia

Joan Crawford Day!

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Thanks so much TCM for a great day of Crawford films. I only wish there had been time for more! Keep up with the wonderful programming, I hardly ever need to change the channel

 

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5 minutes ago, BoundByNostalgia said:

Thanks so much TCM for a great day of Crawford films. I only wish there had been time for more! Keep up with the wonderful programming, I hardly ever need to change the channel

Which film did you enjoy most? Any particular favorites?

I'm glad they scheduled SUDDEN FEAR. I think it's her best performance. I enjoy it more than MILDRED PIERCE.

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I do love stray jacket. I dont know that I could choose a favorite really., I just love watching the progression of her body of work. It’s a shame they could only choose such a tiny fragment to show. There weren’t even any of the 1930s “shop-girl” roles that made her so famous.  

...and I love Johnny Guitar. It’s so strange! 

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Yes, JOHNNY GUITAR is another one of her best films. She hadn't made a western since her early talkie days. But I think she worked perfectly in the western genre. She should've done more. Here's my Crawford top ten:

1. SUDDEN FEAR (1952)
2. POSSESSED (1947)
3. MILDRED PIERCE (1945)
4. JOHNNY GUITAR (1954)
5. HUMORESQUE (1946)
6. FLAMINGO ROAD (1949)
7. A WOMAN'S FACE (1941)
8. ABOVE SUSPICION (1943)
9. QUEEN BEE (1955)
10. SADIE MCKEE (1934)

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Great list. Loved Sadie McKee and I can’t get enough of her in Queen Bee! I swear you can feel her icy demeanor through the screen! The one that stands out to me on that list is “Above Suspicion”.  Why did you choose that one? 

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22 minutes ago, BoundByNostalgia said:

Great list. Loved Sadie McKee and I can’t get enough of her in Queen Bee! I swear you can feel her icy demeanor through the screen! The one that stands out to me on that list is “Above Suspicion”.  Why did you choose that one? 

I think I like ABOVE SUSPICION because it's a war-time espionage yarn that could have been done by anyone (it was the last one she made at MGM before moving over to WB). But because it has Crawford in it, we get something extra. And I was surprised by how well she works with Fred MacMurray. I would have never cast them together in a million years but the whole thing gels. And the story is quite good.

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 6.24.13 PM.jpg

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I agree, it was an odd coupling but it was a fun film nonetheless. It just seemed so much ‘lighter’ than the others on your list that it made me wonder what made it stand out for you. 

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1 minute ago, BoundByNostalgia said:

I agree, it was an odd coupling but it was a fun film nonetheless. It just seemed so much ‘lighter’ than the others on your list that it made me wonder what made it stand out for you. 

Mainly that it shows a different side of her. I think she's more feminine in this picture, not as hard, a lot softer. And I buy into her and MacMurray being a married couple. I don't always buy her with Gable or with some of her other leading men.

Screen Shot 2018-08-31 at 6.23.43 PM.jpg

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I enjoy her with Gable, but I’m a Gable fan. I would’ve liked to have seen her work with Cary Grant, Orson Wells, and I would have liked her to play more with William Powell. I think they were a good team. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, BoundByNostalgia said:

I enjoy her with Gable, but I’m a Gable fan. I would’ve liked to have seen her work with Cary Grant, Orson Wells, and I would have liked her to play more with William Powell. I think they were a good team. 

Yes, I agree that she would have been interesting opposite Welles. She had a chance to work with Humphrey Bogart but turned it down. Jack Warner wanted her to play Bogey's wife in CONFLICT (1945) a part that eventually went to Rose Hobart. She said no because the character got killed in the middle of the story. She told Warner the characters she played never died. Though later she obviously reversed herself on this position because in the 1965 flick I SAW WHAT YOU DID, she played a woman who was killed off halfway into the picture.

At any rate I think she and Bogart could have been interesting together. She really would've been great in THE TWO MRS. CARROLLS, in the role of the beleaguered wife that Stanwyck portrayed. 

She also turned down the lead in STORM WARNING (1951), a role that was taken by Ginger Rogers. She told Warner that nobody would buy her and Doris Day as sisters, and I think she was definitely right about that.

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Yes I would’ve loved to have seen her with Bogart! I also think she would would have been great in ‘From Here To Eternity’ and I think she would have been better suited for the part in ‘The Divorcee’. Thanks for sharing your appreciation for Ms. Crawford. It’s always a pleasure ☺️

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Not sure if you've seen WHIPLASH (1948). A copy of it is currently available on YouTube. It's one of those splashy melodramas Warner Brothers produced after the war...this time a nightclub singer (Alexis Smith) is married to a cad (Zachary Scott) but falls in love with a boxer (Dane Clark). It has the studio's top production values but feels like they are using second choices for the leads. One can't help but think this was a follow-up to HUMORESQUE, especially since Clark's character is a painter (in the way Garfield's character was a violinist in HUMORESQUE). Where Smith's role was intended for Crawford, and Clark stepped in for Garfield. If true, then I wonder why Crawford and Garfield nixed the idea of doing another film together. Perhaps they felt the script was too much a repeat of what they'd already done...

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I don’t know if they would have wanted to do something that so closely paralleled a picture that they had already done. Hadn’t Garfield left WB by ‘48? Also, maybe it had something to do with “The Red Scare”. Just a few thoughts. 

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18 minutes ago, BoundByNostalgia said:

I don’t know if they would have wanted to do something that so closely paralleled a picture that they had already done. Hadn’t Garfield left WB by ‘48? Also, maybe it had something to do with “The Red Scare”. Just a few thoughts. 

Not sure when he left. But he did make another WB film in 1950, possibly as a freelancer, despite the red scare. The script for WHIPLASH (1948) could have been written much earlier. There's a reviewer on the IMDb who said this about the movie:

Good, tough noir with an excellent cast. Watching the film it becomes obvious that it was planned for Joan Crawford so closely does Alexis Smith's character follow the Crawford 40's blueprint. Dane Clark's tortured painter turned boxer was surely likewise designed with John Garfield in mind as it adheres to his screen persona as well. For whatever reason those A-listers either passed or were unavailable and the film moved over to the B unit and this cast. 

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20 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Not sure when he left. But he did make another WB film in 1950, possibly as a freelancer, despite the red scare. The script for WHIPLASH (1948) could have been written much earlier. There's a reviewer on the IMDb who said this about the movie:

Good, tough noir with an excellent cast. Watching the film it becomes obvious that it was planned for Joan Crawford so closely does Alexis Smith's character follow the Crawford 40's blueprint. Dane Clark's tortured painter turned boxer was surely likewise designed with John Garfield in mind as it adheres to his screen persona as well. For whatever reason those A-listers either passed or were unavailable and the film moved over to the B unit and this cast. 

Garfield's contract with Warner was up after Humoresque.   Crawford took about a year off between 47 and 49 for health reasons.    But yea,  Whiplash would have been a perfect fit for a Crawford \ Garfield re-teaming. 

 

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Hum? I know of many movies that Crawford either passed on or was passwd over for someone else but I don’t recall this particular one. I’m not as familiar with the offerings for Garfield. One thing I do find interesting is that Warner Brothers is the one that released this movie, It seems redundant. Usually when one studio had a hit a different studio would answer it with a nearly exact replica.  For instance Wizard Of Oz, released by MGM in ‘39, was answered in kind by 20th Century Fox with The Blue Bird in ‘40. 

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WHIPLASH (1948) really does feel like a Crawford-Garfield film, only they're not in it!

Like I said earlier in the thread, it's currently available for viewing on YouTube. I think it's well made. As for the story seeming redundant to other WB products, the studio had a formula it liked to re-use with slight variations. All Zachary Scott's roles as a cad/gangster are practically the same. But there was an audience for this stuff and the studio knew it.

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