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Joan Crawford


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*May 21, 2010 - _The Last of Mrs. Cheyney_ (1937) 4pm - All Times Eastern Check Local Times!*

 

 

 

 

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*Directed by Richard Boleslawski (who died during filming; Dorothy Arzner, uncredited, finished it), 98 minutes. This is a remake of a 1929 Norma Shearer film (based on the 1925 play by Frederick Lonsdale), which was again remade in 1951 as The Law and the Lady starring Greer Garson.*

 

 

*Here, Joan Crawford stars as jewel thief "Fay Cheyney" along with partner-in-crime William Powell (their only film together). Robert Montgomery is a lord in love with Fay who catches on to the partners' jewel-heist plan.*

 

 

 

*_Notes_:*

 

 

? The film was in production from 11/27/36 to 2/3/37.

 

 

? Cheyney was Life magazine's movie pick of the week when Joan was named "First Queen of the Movies" in early 1937.

 

 

? The original play opened in London on September 22,1925, and was published as a book in England in 1926.

 

 

? The New York city run of the play began 11/9/25 and lasted for 385 performances. Helen Hayes starred. The play was published as a book in the US in 1929.

 

 

? Two other versions of the film were made: in 1929, starring Norma Shearer, and in 1951, as The Law and the Lady, starring Greer Garson.

 

 

? Myrna Loy was initially slated to play Mrs.Cheyney and Joan was supposed to play opposite Clark Gable in Parnell. The ladies switched roles after Joan refused to do another costume drama (after 1936's The Gorgeous Hussy).

 

 

? Co-star Robert Montgomery later said of the film: "I barely remember the thing. Joan was fluttering all over the place, as usual. I just came in and did my work and went home at night until it was over." (EB)

 

 

? Cheyney co-stars Frank Morgan and Jesse Ralph also appeared with Joan in 1935's I Live My Life; Morgan was Joan's father and Ralph was Joan's grandmother.

 

 

? Cheyney co-star Aileen Pringle ("Maria") was married to Mildred Pierce author James M. Cain during the time of MP's filming.

 

 

 

 

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*Loew's Weekly: February 11, 1937. "The Last of Mrs. Cheyney."*

 

 

 

 

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The movie was fun to watch since I hadn't seen it before and I really like all the top 3 stars, especially, Powell, but I wouldn't say it was a great movie. So typically MGM in that nothing really 'bad' was going to happen. For example, the threats of violence by the gang. In a Warner or RKO movie these sences would of had some dramatic impact but in an MGM movie they fall flat since there isn't any real darkness. Thus the movie is camp in so many ways but not camp enough to pull off.

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*Tue, May 25, 2010 @ 10:30 AM - Arizona Time - _The Shining Hour_ (1938) - Check Local Time's in Your Area!*

 

 

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*MGM. 76 minutes. US release: 11/18/38.*

 

 

*_Cast_:* Joan Crawford (as "Olivia Riley"), Margaret Sullavan, Robert Young, Melvyn Douglas, Fay Bainter, Allyn Joslyn, Hattie McDaniel, Oscar O'Shea, Frank Albertson, Harry Barris.

 

 

 

*_Credits_:* Based on the play by Keith Winter (which opened in New York City on 2/13/34). Screenplay: Jane Murfin, Ogden Nash. Producer: Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Director: Frank Borzage. Camera: George Folsey. Music: Franz Waxman. Dance Arranger: De Marco. Costumes: Adrian. Editor: Frank E. Hull.

 

 

 

*_Plot Summary_:* Frank Borzage directed this doomed romance starring Joan Crawford as Olivia Riley, the young bride of Henry Linden (Melvyn Douglas), an upper-crust conservative. Olivia is a show girl in a New York nightclub and when Henry brings her home to his family -- his brother David (Robert Young) and spinster sister Hannah (Fay Bainter) -- on his family's estate, Olivia is given the cold shoulder, particularly by David, who is actually attracted to Olivia himself. Olivia strikes up a friendship with David's wife Judy (Margaret Sullivan), who feels as shut out from the family as Olivia does. Olivia is attracted to David herself, and Hannah tries to drive Olivia away before things really heat up. Judy recognizes the attraction and is willing to leave David so he can pursue his romance with Olivia. David has no idea how to handle the situation, and Henry is blissfully unaware of the simmering passions between David and his wife. But Hannah brings the situation to its inevitable, and tragic, outcome buy setting fire to the estate. ~ Paul Brenner, All Movie Guide

 

 

*_Notes_:* In production from 8/22/38 to 10/3/38.

 

 

 

 

*_TRIVIA_:*

 

Joan Crawford specifically asked for Margaret Sullavan to play the role of Judy, despite Louis B. Mayer's warning that the accomplished stage actress could steal the picture from her. Joan replied "I'd rather be a supporting player in a good picture than the star of a bad one."

 

 

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*Thu, May 27, 2010 @ 6:15 AM - Arizona Time - Check Local Schedule - _Today We Live_ (1933)*

 

 

Today We Live. MGM, 1933.

 

Directed by Howard Hawks, 115 minutes.

 

 

Release date - April 14, 1933 (New York Opening), April 21, 1933 (Nationwide)

 

 

Production Dates - Began late December of 1932

 

 

Joan Crawford stars as "Diana Boyce-Smith," a young, wealthy, playgirl Englishwoman during WWI. (This is her first film with future husband Franchot Tone, whom she would marry in 1935; her only film with Gary Cooper; and her first of three films with Robert Young.)

 

The film was based on a story by William Faulkner that didn't include any women, so a few changes had to be made!

 

 

 

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*_Interesting Trivia_*

 

 

 

 

 

 

The working titles of this film were "We Live Again" and "Turn About." M-G-M borrowed Gary Cooper from Paramount for the production. "Today We Live" was the first film on which director Howard Hawks and writer William Faulkner collaborated. A November 1932 "Hollywood Reporter" news item announced that Phillips Holmes was to co-star with Joan Crawford. Charles "Buddy" Rogers was then announced as a possible co-star in early December 1932.

 

 

According to a mid-December HR news item, M-G-M did not begin negotiating for Gary Cooper until two weeks after production was scheduled to start. These news items conflict with some modern sources, which state that Cooper, Robert Young and Franchot Tone had been selected by Hawks before Joan Crawford was approached with the script.

 

 

 

According to "International Photographer," photographer Elmer Dyer spent several weeks filming the aerial sequences for the film at March Field in California. Modern sources note that General Douglas MacArthur reserved the field for the studio's use. In its review, "Variety" claims that Hawks used footage from Howard Hughes's 1930 production "Hell's Angels" in this film, in particular the "sequence of the big bomber expedition" and the "main 'dog-fight' and the head-on collision of two planes." "Daily Vairety" gives a preview running time of 135 minutes, indicating that substantial footage was deleted before the general release.

 

 

 

Modern sources add the following information about the production: After Faulkner's first six-week contract with M-G-M ended, Hawks insisted that the studio re-sign the writer and allow the two of them to develop Faulkner's short story "Turn About" for the screen. In early July 1932, Faulkner wrote a screen treatment of his story, which Hawks then presented to M-G-M production head Irving Thalberg. Although Thalberg approved the treatment, which was strictly a three-man war drama, other studio executives insisted that the story be rewritten to accommodate Crawford, whom they needed to put into a new picture to fulfill a $500,000 contractual obligation. Faulkner complied with the studio's demands and wrote, on instruction from Hawks, a complete first draft of a screenplay (his first), creating the character of "Ann."

 

 

 

Although Joan Crawford at first resisted being cast in the all-male picture, she finally accepted the assignment and insisted that Faulkner write her dialogue in the same clipped manner as the male characters'. Faulkner turned in his first draft, which he signed with both his and Hawks's names, at the end of August 1932. In Faulkner's original draft, "Ronnie," "Ann" and "Claude" are first presented as children and then are seen as adolescents. Because the child actors who were to play the threesome could not master British accents, Hawks decided to delete the childhood scenes from the script and hired Edith Fitzgerald and Dwight Taylor to replace Faulkner, who was in Mississippi, and write a second draft. Fitzgerald and Taylor then deleted the adolescent scenes and completely rewrote most of the first half of the script. Faulkner was called in later to revise the final script and added one scene.

 

 

 

*_Cost_:* $663K/Domestic Studio Gross: $590K/Foreign Studio Gross: $445K/ LOSS: $23,000

 

 

 

*_Box Office Receipts_:* $1,035m.

 

 

 

*_Inflation Value in 2007_:* $16,553,391.92.

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*_Today We Live_ (1933)*

 

 

 

*This is Joan Crawford's first film with future husband Franchot Tone, whom she would marry in 1935; her only film with Gary Cooper; and her first of three films with Robert Young.*

 

 

 

*_Notes_:*

 

 

? In production beginning 12/32.

 

 

? Aerial sequences shot at March Field in Riverside, CA.

 

 

? Other dogfight footage taken from director Hawks' 1930 film _Hell's Angels_.

 

 

 

 

 

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*Joan was introduced to radio performances in 1935 by her second husband Franchot Tone (pictured at right), and she continued to do radio shows through the 1960s.*

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  • 2 weeks later...

*Wed, Jun 9, 9:00 AM _Our Blushing Brides_ (1930)*

 

 

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*_Plot Summary_:*

 

 

Having starred in Our Dancing Daughters (28) and Our Modern Maidens (30), the next logical step for Joan Crawford was Our Blushing Brides (30). Crawford is featured with her Dancing Daughters costars Dorothy Sebastian and Anita Page in this tale of three roommates trying to make good in the Big City. Crawford works as a department store mannequin, while Sebastian and Page have jobs as clerks. Robert Montgomery, son of the store's owner, marries Crawford, having failed to "score" any other way; Sebastian weds a thief (John Miljan) whom she mistakes as a millionaire; and Robert Montgomery's younger brother Raymond Hackett takes Page as his mistress, which results in her suicide after he drops her. Our Blushing Brides has plenty to blush about. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

 

 

*_Notes_:*

 

 

? By now, Joan had grown weary of "dancing girl" roles: "If I'd proved I could play the dancing girl I'd once been, fine. Now let's have a new objective." (US)

 

 

? Some scenes ran into trouble with censors; in a Massachusetts case, the studio appealed and was permitted to retain the "entire drunk scene" as well as substitute a "Crawford-Montgomery kimono scene" for an offending dressing-room scene. (US)

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*Wed, Jun 9, 2:30 PM _They All Kissed the Bride_ (1942)*

 

 

*_Plot Summary_:*

 

Joan Crawford is the kissable bride of the title--but when the film opens, matrimony is the farthest thing from her mind. Crawford becomes a big-time executive upon inheriting her father's trucking business, which leaves her no time for such trivialities as romance. To enhance her business, Crawford arranges a marriage of convenience for her younger sister (Helen Parrish). At the wedding, Crawford meets reporter Melvyn Douglas, who is out to discredit Crawford....and you know what's coming next.

 

They All Kissed the Bride was one of several 1942 productions originally slated for Carole Lombard, whose sudden death in a plane crash required all the major studios to reshuffle their production schedules to come up with last-minute Lombard replacements. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

 

*Joan Crawford was asked to take over Carole Lombard's role after she died in a air crash during a war bond tour. She then donated all of her salary to the Red Cross who found Lombard's body, and promptly fired her agent for taking his usual 10%.*

 

 

 

*_Notes_:* In production beginning 2/42.

 

 

 

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*Star and secretary...*

 

*Here's Joan Crawford with her secretary Almeda Dewey On the set of _They all kissed the Bride_ set at Columbia. Miss Crawford's pet pooch Pupchen, also horns in on the picture. (1942)*

 

 

 

 

 

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*Thu, Jun 10, 2010 _The Damned Don't Cry_ (1950) - Check Local Schedule for times!*

 

 

Joan stars as working gal "Ethel Whitehead," who reinvents herself as Oklahoma oil heiress "Lorna Hansen Forbes" and gets involved with gangsters along the way.

 

 

The film was directed by Vincent Sherman and produced by Jerry Wald.

 

 

The Damned Don't Cry! is the first of _three_ cinematic collaborations between Sherman and Crawford, the others being _Harriet Craig_ (1950) and G_oodbye, My Fancy_ (1951).

 

 

 

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*_TRIVIA_:*

 

 

Loosely based upon the life of sharp-tongued moll Virginia Hill and her secretive relationship with gangster Bugsy Siegel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

*_Susan and God_ (1940) - Jun 24, 2010 @ 02:15PM - Eastern- Check Local Schedule Times!*

 

 

 

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*_Production notes_*

 

 

The play on which the film was based, Susan and God, premiered in Princeton, New Jersey, before it opened on Broadway on 7 October 1937 at the Plymouth Theatre, in a production directed by John Golden and designed by Jo Mielziner. It starred Gertrude Lawrence and ran for 288 performances.

 

 

MGM reportedly paid $75,000 (USD) for the rights to Rachel Crothers' play. It was intended as a vehicle for Norma Shearer, but the star refused to play the role of a mother with a teenage daughter. Greer Garson was also considered for the role before it went to Joan Crawford.

 

 

Rita Hayworth was loaned to MGM for this film by her studio, Columbia Pictures. This was also Fredric March's return to film after a year and a half's absence appearing on the stage.

 

 

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*JOAN CRAWFORD TCM JULY 2010!!*

 

 

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*July 3*

 

The Women. 1:30am. TCM.

 

 

 

*July 7*

 

A Woman's Face. 8am. TCM.

 

 

 

*July 16*

 

Hollywood Canteen. 6am. TCM.

 

Berserk. 11pm. TCM.

 

 

 

*July 25*

 

The Bride Wore Red. 6:15am. TCM.

 

 

 

*July 26*

 

Above Suspicion (1943) 4:30pm. TCM.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Did you ever read (or just look at) the book _Four Fabulous Faces?_ It's huge (cofee table book-sized and heavy) and features Joan Crawford, Gloria Swanson, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. It talks a little about their careers and the impact their "look" had on both actresses of their own time and modern times (Well, up to the 70's anyway :) ) But the main point is the photos! Hundreds of gorgeous photos of all four stars from their earliest days (ie childhood) all the way to the present day (the 70's) Joan went through so many changes in her early career--hair color, hair style, makeup--sometimes it's hard to tell it's actually her. But except for her Clara Bow look, it all works.

 

Edited by: traceyk65 on Jul 18, 2010 10:12 PM

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