Most people associate Joan Crawford with her roles in the 40s, 50s and 60s, but what they usually forget is the fact that she was, originally, a true-blue 20s gal.
Yes, you read that right. Before the world saw her getting slapped by Ann Blyth (Mildred Pierce, 1945) or kicked in the head by Bette Davis (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962), she was just like any flapper during the Roaring Twenties: young, wild and free.
Joan was the epitome of a real jazz baby in the 1920s. The period also had Clara Bow, Louise Brooks, Colleen Moore and many others, but Joan rose to the top when she portrayed Dangerous Diana in Our Dancing Daughters (1928). The role reflected her off-screen persona and showed the audience what real flappers are like— always dancing, always partying… but still decent.
(From the film Our Dancing Daughters, 1928)
She’s also remembered as the young flapper who’s always dancing in night clubs (one of them being the famous Cocoanut Grove), Charleston-ing her way to many, many trophies— proof that she is the one and only Charleston queen.
(With her Charleston trophies, 1926)
Even the famous F. Scott Fitzgerald took note of Joan’s embodiment of the free-spirited flapper. According to him:
Joan Crawford is doubtless the best example of the flapper, the girl you see in smart night clubs, gowned to the apex of sophistication, toying iced glasses with a remote, faintly bitter expression, dancing deliciously, laughing a great deal, with wide, hurt eyes. Young things with a talent for living.
Let’s not forget the young, vibrant, and energetic All-American dame that Joan was before. She truly is one of Hollywood’s (and America, in general) legendary flappers.
Happy blogging (and fangirling!)
(All photos from Joan Crawford Best. GIF by Theodora Fitzgerald)