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Joan Crawford


Guest Girl, Crawford

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Guest mongo

You go Crawford girl! She is one of my all time favorites...the ultimate movie star. Other than the 41 films that will be shown I'm looking forward to the new documentary of her life (what more could be said?). Although I hear that Christina Crawford will be on the program (ugh). It would be nice if her twin daughters will make an appearance too. We can discuss it all here after we see the special.

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Guest son, jery

I think Joan Crawford was at her ultimate best in two phases of her careers: in her early talkies, like "Grand Hotel" where she emanated a vibrant, feminine charisma. You just loved her! In her 40 films, I liked her in a different way, as a world-weary sophisticate,or frail but desperate gal like "MIldred Pierce" and "Humoresque." Boy, the stories this woman could have told. She was there at MGM in l925 and saw movie history being made all the way through the mid-60s. People I know who met her said she was incredibly gracious and charming and very funny. She genuinly adored her fans because they never asked anything of her.

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Guest bell, darwin

I am so happy that some respect is finally being shown to Joan Crawford. I know the documentary is "warts and all" but at least it is supposed to be balanced with an honest appraisal of her acting talents, which have been overshadowed by her personal life for so long. I am very excited to see some of her early films... think people forget how vibrant and beautiful she was!

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Guest son, jery

I just watched the TCM documentary of Joan Crawford and my main reaction is BRAVO! TCM deserves a prize for approving and supporting this Class A enterprise. It was consistently informative, entertaining, stuffed with photos I'd never seen before and thank God those interviewed didn't take over the screen for long, boring minutes--although I do wish they had given that fabulous spitfire, Anita Page, more air-time! She looked fantastic to be 92 and I'll bet she could have told fascinating stories for hours. Director Victor Sherman was hilarious as he made a fool out of himself, bragging how Joan couldn't keep her hands off him. He said the identical thing about Bette Davis. He must've been one busy man--and of course there's neither Joan nor Bette around to challenge him. I loved all those unseen film clips and photos that showed how Joan evolved from that warm, sensual beautiful young gal to the strange and harder looking dame toward the end of her life. Kudos and roses to TCM for bringing this delightful treat to its viewers!

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Guest mongo

I'm in total agreement with you jery son. The show was a four****star production. Your so right about Vincent Sherman who continues to brag about bedding both Davis and Crawford (perhaps the memories and /or wishful thinking is what keeps him spry). Also enjoyed seeing and hearing tidbits from Anna Lee, Virginia Grey, Cliff Robertson and sweet Betsy Palmer. Columnist Bob Thomas was an asset to the show as was Crawford's friend Herbert Kenwith. Anita Page was a hoot and it looked like she saved her pancake makeup from MGM. The clips and rare pictures were certainly a treat expressing the many phases of the ultimate star. Of course Christina Crawford's big face added to the gloom and doom aspect of the program (I still wonder if Crawford was good to her in the will if she would have ever wrote such a book). At least Bette Davis' daughter wrote her silly book when the star was still alive. All in all it was good to see diva Crawford in all her glory (warts and all) with those big blue eyes alas the ultimate movie star.

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Guest D., Nick

I also really thought TCM did a helluva job on this documentary. This was way better than AMC's pitiful William Haines documentary (silly reenactments). It seems Christina Crawford uses every opportunity to bash her mother, she also always seems to mention her book too! The only complaint I have is that the film clips of Lettie Lyton, and Rain looked so good that I would of loved to have seen these movies this month. I know that Lettie Lyton hasn't been shown in awhile and hope one day TCM shows it along with Rain!

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I agree...TCM's bio on Joan made AMC's bio on Billy look like the lame slipshod production it was. Thanks TCM. Joan deserved the star treatment, and her fans appreciated the fact that she got it from you! My complaint has nothing to do with the bio. My complaint is that with Joan Crawford as star of the month, you'd think TCM would dig out some long forgotten gems to play, to really treat Joan's many fans. With the exception of ACROSS TO SINGAPORE, the Crawford movies being shown are the same old Crawford movies that are always shown! I would have dearly loved to see RAIN, or SALLY IRENE AND MARY, or TAXI DANCER...movies that haven't played in 70+ years. This is the same basic complaint I had against AMC when they did the Haines bio. Why get everybody all fired up, and then show movies we've all seen countless times? That's my gripe, but as I said earlier, it has nothing to do with the fabulous bio.

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Guest Cat, Maggie the

I'm stunned by y'all's hostility toward Christina Crawford. Yes, Joan Crawford was a great movie star and a damn good actress. But she was a lousy mother. And that's putting it lightly. My hat is off to Miss Christina; that she has not killed anyone, least of all herself. All y'alll who mention the will; get the fsck over it. There is no amount of money that could make up for the physical and emotional abuse that woman suffered.

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Guest mongo

Maggie retract your claws for a moment. While we appreciate and respect your opinion it's not really hostility against Christina as much as it is the same old story for the past 24 years while still plugging her book (money?) A book that could have been written while Joan Crawford was still alive since the author was 28 years old when Crawford died. Crawford died in 1977 and the book was hot off the press nary a year later in 1978 seemingly a manuscript in waiting for whatever reason (the will?). While the children were said to be abused (a strict up bringing) they were also pampered among splendor surroundings and were also well educated not to mention the occasional parties, fine clothing, healthy meals, theme attractions etc. etc. Also with the hundreds of people gathered around the movie stars life not one who may have witnessed abuse came forward or at least made a phone call to protect the children. Why? And consider the fact that Christina was a rebellious child who provoked Crawford at times. Also the question of genes in an adopted child has become an essential issue today since some have made life miserable for the adoptive parent(s). I would have given my eye tooth for that life style since I grew up in an abusive strict household without the trimmings and gee I never thought of writing a book. It seems to me that there are just too many loose ends. Of course that doesn't stop Joan Crawford from turning in her grave everytime Christina appears on a TV show and manages to plug her book.

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Guest MissPriss

I read an interview somewhere with Myrna Loy,who said she knew Joan Crawford well. She said in this interview that Joan Crawford was never the way Christina portrayed her in that book, that Christina took kernels of truth and distorted them,twisted the truth.She also said that Joan Crawford was a loving generous woman,and Christina a rebellious manipulative girl, and later, woman. Now I don't know,I wasn't there, but Myrna Loy was, and it's funny how people are always so ready to believe the worst of someone, when it would be just as easy to give them the benefit of a doubt,considering the evidence on one side is no more than hearsay, and there is clear reason to suspect bias. I think it's terrible that a woman who may well have been a lovely person has been maligned this way. Ann Bluthe on TCM says much the same thing. I just don't think that in the tight-knit Hollywood of the time, that Joan Crawford could have been the monster she was portrayed as in that awful book, and so many people,especially other women, would have called her their friend. If it's not true, then to write these things of a dead woman was despicable. And I've always had great respect for Myrna Loy and her integrity.

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Guest son, jery

I would LOVE to have been a fly on the wall during the filming of l939's THE WOMEN! Wooo, imagine the cat fights. I've read there were daily battles waged over who had the snazziest gown, hair-do, shoes, lighting. I think our Joan looked the sexiest of them all. Director George Cukor must have loved it.

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Just watched the delightful film "The Women" on TCM again and each viewing I notice something different. By the way Joan Fontaine is still alive and it would be a hoot if Mr. Osbourne could snag her for an interview so she could tell us all about what went on during the making of the film.

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Guest olmsted, l

Speaking of Joan Fontaine--is today her birthday? TCM is playing a series of her films this a.m. I don't know about anyone else, but I always preferred Joan over her sister Olivia DeHavilland. I read a funny story about them (don't know if it's true) but Joan supposedly Joan was asked to "audition" for the part of Melanie in GWTW. Can't remember who, but I think it was L B Mayer who wanted her to sleep with him for the part. She said, "You'd have better luck with my sister!" and walked out and look who got the part! Anyone know if there is validity to this story?

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Guest Cat, Maggie the

If Joan Fontaine said it about someone she doesn't like (and I believe her sister fits into that category), it's probably not true. She told George Sanders's biographer that Ronald Colman wanted his ashes spread someplace, and Sanders (who married Colman's widow) nixed the plan, saying it was too expensive to get there. When the biographer asked Colman's daughter about it, she didn't know what the hell Fontaine was talking about.

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Guest K, Sandy

MissPriss, I read similar comments made by Myrna Loy in her fabulous autobiography "Being and Becoming." It seems to me that Myrna was in a summer stock production of Barefoot in the Park with Christina and thought little of her. It's been a loooong time since I read that book, so I may be a little mixed up on that fact, but I distinctly remember Myrna having contempt for Christina's book.

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Guest Curry, Liz

August 13 is not Joan Fontaine's birthday, but I surely enjoyed seeing Joan's very early films yesterday. Her birthday is October 22 and noticed TCM is showing many of her films on that date, some of which are repeats of the ones on Aug. 13 plus some new ones. Joan Fontaine is my favorite actress.

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Guest olmsted, l

Ooh, Liz, thanks for that info--her b-day is the day before mine! I, too, adore Joan Fontaine. The aire of coolness she gives off in such roles as Rebecca and Suspision really appeals to me. Sorry everyone for switching the Joan Crawford discussion to another Joan!

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Guest son, jery

I understand that Joan actually filmed several scenes with Bette Davis in l964's "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte." Insiders say she looked fabulous. She wore little make-up, had a great wardrobe and great looking hair styles. Too bad we'll never see any of this. Also, she was set to play the star role in "Lady in a Cage" that Olivia De Havilland took over. Olivia did a fantastic job as the crippled woman trapped in a house with psychos. Speaking of missed opportunities: Bette Davis actually turned down the star role in "Come Back, Little Sheba," that won Shirley Booth an Oscar. Bette, why'd you turn it down for, huh?

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Guest Vados, Mike

Wow! To think of "Little Sheba" without Shirley Booth makes me ALMOST CRY! Bette Davis is great, true enough, but there is almost no greater of a scene in ANY movie than when Shirley Booth goes looking for the liquor bottle to make drinks for the company. The look on her face! Dang! She's such a great actress! I cannot help but to wonder if Joan Crawford and Olivia De Havilland knew each other or trained under the same acting coach. They both seem to have the same penchant for old-school over-acting and a similar overall slight hamminess. Yes they would have been interchangeable in "Lady in a Cage"...no doubt! High melodrama! True Stars in every sense of the word though, NO DOUBT. (But I'll take Olivia's sister any day. Joan Fontaine RULES in my book! I'd love nothing better than to get a RIP-ROARIN' JOAN(Fontaine) VS. OLIVIA debate going! She played the part in Rebecca so beautifully, and she was a beautiful, sweet-looking girl. who truly did have a neat kind of "funny, lost look". Did they really dislike each other?)

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Guest olmsted, l

Mike, from what I've heard, they didn't get along too well. And I also read that they didn't grow up together and weren't close which may account for their coolness towards eachother. I'm with you on Joan Vs. Olivia. Joan is by far one of my faves!

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It's Olivia De Havilland for me. Just one performance sealed it for me and that was in "The Heiress" in which she gave a magnificent performance that won her the Oscar. Of course there is also "The Snake Pit", "Gone with the Wind", "Hold Back the Dawn" and "To Each His Own". By the way although Olivia and Joan are rumored not to get along I read that Joan has sent money to Olivia on several occasions. It seems that blood is thicker than water.

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I like them both, but really enjoy Olivia. You mentioned many of Olivia's great performances, but I'd also like to mention her role of Catherine in THE HEIRESS. I love that movie! And Monty Cliff ain't too bad either!

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Guest Vados, Mike

Yes, I must admit I had forgotten "The Heiress" ...Ms. De Havilland really SHONE in that one! There was a certain way she played that character that made the her quite pathetically believable...really, just perfect...It's been a long time since I saw that movie but IT IS GOOD. Like when she finally puts the reticent shyness aside and starts toughening up...YEA she is so good! There is a certain seething bitterness that Olivia De Havilland portrays better than any other actress. You see it again in "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" ...YIKES, get out of the way. Yes, I definitely like her better when she parks the "Melanie" persona and gets nasty. lol (as an aside regarding THE HEIRESS, isnt Miriam Hopkins in that too? did any of you people ever hear that she was somewhat of a..um...witch? This surprised me.)...(sorry to get so far off topic...this IS the Joan Crawford board, isnt it.)

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I absolutely adore THE HEIRESS. I admire the way deHavilland goes from shy and socially backward to acid tipped and vindictive. Her portrays the whole metamorphis perfectly. She does seem to have that "seething" bitterness, you're exactly right. Regarding Miss Hopkins...I have heard that she was difficult, but she was a bit of a diva, I think. I like her work too. She was especially good in THESE THREE (version of THE CHILDREN'S HOUR minus the lesbian theme) and TROUBLE IN PARADISE. She has a slight southern accent that works very well with her blonde beauty. I'd love to see something like THE STORY OF TEMPLE DRAKE, a notorious pre-Code. It was pretty contriversial at the time, and based on Faulkner's book Sanctuary. And Joan Crawford...I love her work. Especially her pre-Codes and the silents. She was good in WEST POINT with Billy Haines.

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