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Joan Crawford: Articles


'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?

Joan Crawford in 'Mildred Pierce': Best Actress Oscar winner enjoyed a triumphant comeback. 'Mildred Pierce' 1945 movie review: Very entertaining 'soap opera' Time has a way of making some films seem grander than they really are. A good example is Mildred Pierce, the 1945 black-and-white melodrama directed by Casablanca's Michael Curtiz, and that won star Joan Crawford a Best Actress Oscar. Mildred Pierce is in no way, shape, or form great art, even though it's certainly not a bad film. In fact, as a soap opera it's quite entertaining – no, make that very entertaining; and entertainment is a quality that can stand on its own. (The problem in recent decades is that cinema has become nothing but entertainment.) In […]


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'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?



Joan Crawford Movies: 'The Women' 1939, Banned Christian-Themed Drama

Joan Crawford: Ambitious, driven Movie Star. Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her craft, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it took – and more – to reach the top and stay there. Nearly four decades after her death, Crawford, the star to end all stars, remains one of the iconic performers of the 20th century. Deservedly so, once you choose to bypass the Mommie Dearest inanity and focus on her film work. From the get-go, she was a capable actress; look for the hard-to-find silents The Understanding Heart (1927) and […]


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Joan Crawford Movies: 'The Women' 1939, Banned Christian-Themed Drama



Olivia de Havilland Movies: 'Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte' as Favor to Bette Davis

Olivia de Havilland as Lady Marian in 'The Adventures of Robin Hood.' Olivia de Havilland on TCM: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress Oscar winner (To Each His Own, 1946; The Heiress, 1949) whose steely determination helped to change U.S. labor law turned 99 last July 1. Unfortunately, TCM isn't showing any de Havilland movie rarities, e.g., Universal's cool thriller The Dark Mirror (1946), the Paramount comedy The Well-Groomed Bride (1947), or Terence Young's British-made That Lady (1955), with de Havilland as eye-patch-wearing Spanish princess Ana de Mendoza. On the other hand, you'll […]


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Olivia de Havilland Movies: 'Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte' as Favor to Bette Davis



'Humoresque' 1946: Joan Crawford Saves Boxing vs. Violin-Playing Melodrama

'Humoresque': Joan Crawford and John Garfield. 'Humoresque' 1946: Saved by Joan Crawford Directed by Jean Negulesco from a screenplay by Clifford Odets and Zachary Gold (loosely based on a Fannie Hurst short story), Humoresque always frustrates me because its first 25 minutes are excruciatingly boring – until Joan Crawford finally makes her appearance during a party scene. Crawford plays Helen Wright, a rich society lush in love with a tough-guy violin player, Paul Boray (John Garfield), who happens to be in love with his music. Fine support is offered by Paul's parents, played by Ruth Nelson and the fabulous chameleon-like J. Carroll Naish. Oscar Levant is the sarcastic, wisecracking piano player, who plays his part to the verge of annoyance. […]


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'Humoresque' 1946: Joan Crawford Saves Boxing vs. Violin-Playing Melodrama



Shower Curtains? Think Film (Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and More)

Shower curtains as film artwork: From Bette Davis and Joan Crawford to Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie (image: Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' shower curtain) Alt Film Guide mostly discusses film. This post, however, is about shower curtains. Now, don't panic. Earlier today, December 20, 2013, the website Dangerous Minds posted a link to ebay listings of shower curtains designed by New York City-based artist Glen Hanson. Those aren't your average colorful shower curtains; instead, they're colorful cinematic (or TV-themed) shower curtains. Featured are Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, Divine in John Water's Pink Flamingos, and a '60s version of Cher (who did star opposite Sonny […]


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Shower Curtains? Think Film (Bette Davis and Joan Crawford and More)



Joan Crawford Longtime Friend/Personal Assistant Dies

Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Autumn Leaves Betty Barker (photo), Joan Crawford's longtime personal assistant, died last Jan. 27 in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles-born (Sept. 30, 1916) Barker was 95 years old. According to a paid obituary published in the Los Angeles Times, Barker grew up in the L.A. suburb of Alhambra. Following a stint in Washington, D.C., in 1944 Barker returned to Los Angeles, where she began her secretarial career at RKO. Later, she was to become a personal secretary to Howard Hughes, who gained control of the studio in 1948. When RKO officially moved to Las Vegas in 1955, Barker opted to remain in Los Angeles. That's when she began her professional association with Joan Crawford, whom, as […]


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Joan Crawford Longtime Friend/Personal Assistant Dies



Joan Crawford Movies: 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Flamingo Road'

Joan Crawford (right, in Daisy Kenyon) is Turner Classic Movies' next “Summer Under the Stars” star. On Monday, August 22, TCM will be showing 13 Joan Crawford movies, in addition to Peter Fitzgerald's documentary Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star, narrated by Anjelica Huston. (Curiously, Crawford is nowhere to be found in any of the 40+ films directed by Anjelica Huston's father, John Huston.) (See Joan Crawford Movie Schedule further below.) As an MGM and WB star, Crawford is one of TCM's most visible stars. Every week, there's some Joan Crawford movie or other on TCM – at times, a number of them. Even so, there's plenty of room for variety, as Crawford made about 60 films between 1930 and […]


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Joan Crawford Movies: 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Flamingo Road'



'Planet of the Apes' & Joan Crawford: Packard Campus

Jane Greer, Robert Mitchum, Ramon Novarro in Don Siegel's The Big Steal Judy Garland would have turned 89 today. It goes without saying that Garland is one of the stars featured in the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation's June 2011 schedule. Unfortunately, the Garland screening of For Me and My Gal took place yesterday. So, it's too late for me to recommend it. However, I can still recommend several other gems awaiting movie lovers at the Packard Campus this month. Those include Franklin J. Schaffner's Planet of the Apes (June 10); Ranald MacDougall's Queen Bee (June 16); and the film noir double feature (June 18) The Big Steal, directed by Don Siegel, and The Narrow Margin, […]


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'Planet of the Apes' & Joan Crawford: Packard Campus





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