M is for Memorable Roles: Joan’s Unforgettable Characters

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I used my body, my face, my walk, my mannerisms to project what the character is.

– Joan Crawford

Joan’s career, which spanned almost half a century, spawned over 83 films— from silents to talkies to technicolor. With these pictures, she was given a wide variety of roles: extra, chorine, flapper, shopgirl, the other woman, scarred lady, trucking magnate, restaurant owner, dancer, stenographer, playwright, Western boss, crippled lady, psychotic woman, circus owner, doctor… all the possible roles you could imagine!

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But out of all the characters she portrayed, there are few which definitely stand out until now. These roles have cemented her name in the motion picture industry and made her beyond famous. These characters have made their way into our hearts, as well. Sometimes, we even associate Joan with the roles she played. That’s how big the impact of her roles are.

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Here are, in my¬†opinion, Joan’s most memorable roles ever:

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(Nanon Zanzi in The Unknown, 1927)

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(Diana Medford in Our Dancing Daughters, 1928)

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(Marian Martin in Possessed, 1931)

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(Letty Lynton in Letty Lynton, 1932)

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(Sadie Thompson in Rain, 1932)

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(Janie Barlow in Dancing Lady, 1933)

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(Sadie McKee in Sadie McKee, 1934)

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(Crystal Allen in The Women, 1939)

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(Anna Holm in A Woman’s Face, 1941)

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(Mildred Pierce in Mildred Pierce, 1945)

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(Helen Wright in Humoresque, 1946)

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(Louise Howell in Possessed, 1947)

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(Myra Hudson in Sudden Fear, 1952)

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(Jenny Stewart in Torch Song, 1953)

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(Vienna in Johnny Guitar, 1954)

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(Eva Phillips in Queen Bee, 1955)

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(Millicent Wetherby in Autumn Leaves, 1956)

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(Blance Hudson in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962)

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(Lucy Harbin in Strait Jacket, 1964)

Agree or disagree? Feel free to comment— just no bashing or irrational, violent reactions. ūüôā Thank you!

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(All photos from Joan Crawford Best)

J is for Jazz Baby: Flapper Joan

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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.

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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(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.

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Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

(All photos from Joan Crawford Best. GIF by Theodora Fitzgerald)

D is for the Divine Feud: Bette and Joan’s Famous Rivalry

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Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s much-publicized feud is one of Hollywood’s most famous¬†scandals ever.

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They were two legendary queens with almost the same qualities (they’re both Aries; strong and independent, but weak and in desperate need of love) and personal battles (both have daughters whom they had problems with, and were married more than twice). Their feud became bigger than them— sprawling a number of controversies and exchange of insults over the years.

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This so-called “queen rivalry” became worse when they were teamed up in the 1962 classic¬†Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? People were shocked and glad at the same time; seeing the queens portray their disdain at each other on the big screen sure was a delight to audiences.

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But, as much as people love a juicy gossip, I can’t bring myself to believe that Joan and Bette really hated each other. I think this whole feud was just a lie— a story cooked up by reporters to milk some cash.

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I’m not saying that they didn’t hate each other at all, though. Sure, they weren’t the best of chums, but they were casual to each other. They respected each other’s craft and talents. But going back… they weren’t really good friends, not as good as Joan and Barbara Stanwyck, or Bette and Olivia de Havilland.

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What was the reason behind their feud? It isn’t even clear up to now.¬†Some sources claim that Franchot Tone¬†(Joan’s second husband and Bette’s co-star in¬†Dangerous (1935)) was the root cause of their hatred to each other, because at the time,¬†Bette was in love with Franchot, who was pursuing Joan¬†then¬†(and will soon marry).

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However, some say that the reason why they hate each other is because of Joan’s upstaging in a party for newcomers in the mid-30s. Other sources state that it was because of their clashing personalities (just because they’re so alike).

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Nobody really knows how their “feud” began. But one thing’s for certain: it’s one of those Hollywood things that people will never, ever forget.

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I just wish, at some point, they became close friends… don’t we (OH fans) all? ‚̧

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

dfsa.

 

(Photos from Joan Crawford Best, Cake Chooser, Jake Weird and Daily Mail)

To my beautiful baby, my wonderful child: Joan Crawford

Yesterday, a lot of people all over the world expressed their sincerest birthday greetings to you… including me.

Honestly, I’m still amazed by the number of adoring fans you have, even if you’ve been resting for 37 years now. (And no, I’m not talking about those “fans” who just know and acknowledge you¬†as the “axe-swinging-wire-hanger-swishing-rodeo-quoting” lady that the movie Mommie Dearest¬†and your¬†ungrateful daughter Christina portrayed you¬†to be).

For the first time, my fingers hurt because I had so many Instagram pictures to like. Normally, that doesn’t happen. But because it was your birthday, the hashtag #JoanCrawford was flooded with sooo many photos of you.

That still warms my heart until now.

I’m trying not to get too emotional every time I would post something like this, but I’m afraid my love for you won’t let me. Actually, I don’t even understand why I love you this much. This time last year, I think I don’t even know you. But ever since I discovered how amazing you are (thank you so much, documentary on Youtube), somehow, you became a part of my whole system. Now, not a day passes by that I don’t think of you. My phone is filled with your souvenirs. Your voice haunts me. You even turn up in my dreams.

And no, I’m not protesting. Haha.

I don’t know what to say anymore, so I guess I’ll just end (kind of) this post with the words, “I love you so damn much.” That’s it— my whole feelings all wrapped up in that one special sentence.

Thank you for letting me find you and for never allowing me to forget you. Thank you for always inspiring me and being my spirit guide in everything I do. Thank you for leaving such a wonderful legacy that we, your fans, enjoy in the present.

Thank you, Joan, for existing in this world. I don’t know what I would do had you not been born.

Oh, and don’t worry about that negative¬†MD stuff that people still associate with your name. We, the real Joanuts, will take care of those haters and pretenders. ūüėČ

Happy birthday again, my sweet angel!

Love lots,
Jane

(GIFs are all from Tumblr: Crawford in Motion, Nitrate Diva, Theodora Fitzgerald, Joan Crawfords, Weird Movie Village, Get on the Carousel and Baby Bacalling)