Why I Loved Joan Crawford



As most of you already know, I make reference to Joan Crawford in many of my posts. And I do this because her onscreen over-the-top persona is quite often the perfect fill-in for how I wish to express myself emotionally.

I guess you could say she represents the part of me that’s screams DRAMATIC.

I can still remember being a small child and sitting in front of the television on a Saturday afternoon watching an old Joan Crawford movie; being both terrified and enamored by her.

She was like watching the scene of a car accident; not wanting to look at it, but at the same time wanting to look CLOSER.

Many of the films I first saw her in scared the shit out of me because of the way she was cinematically lit. She always looked as though she was on the brink of insanity; getting ready to murder someone with a either a hatchet or an envelope opener.




And yet, as I got older I began to see more of her earlier films which highlighted her great beauty, versatility, and true talent.




Back in the days of early Hollywood, actors and actresses had no separation between reality and their onscreen persona. The lines of definition were blurred to the point of not knowing which was which. This is why I think many of them eventually became caricatures of themselves.

And yet, for me, when it came to Crawford and her own caricature, I could always see her true-self peaking through her performances. She allowed her vulnerability and human weakness to show, which caused me to always believe her no matter how dramatic she acted.

Here are some additional faces of Joan Crawford….


Crystal Allen - The Women



Jenny Stewart - Torch Song


Mildred Pierce - Mildred Pierce


Blanche Hudson - Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?


Joan Crawford.....herself


Ron Crawford.....himself

34 comments

  1. Ron,
    Always a pleasure to stop by! Although I'm not a huge fan of Joan's I enjoyed a few of her films, the RoseMary's baby flick was outstanding, though my mother should've probably waited to let me see that until I was older than 5, it literally scared me shitless! Hey enjoy your week, I'll be looking forward to your posts!

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  2. You look MAHVELOUS, Darling!

    Is that second picture really her? I see where Madonna got her 80's look from!

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  3. Mornin' Brndoutw8tress!

    When I was a kid, my parents took me to see her in a movie called Straight Jacket. And during the ax murdering scene I started SCREAMING and CRYING at the time of my lungs, where upon they both had to grab me; cover my mouth...and RUN me out of the movie theater.

    And on the way home, my mother kept saying to my father, "See Frank, I told you he was too young to see that flim!!"

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Always a pleasure seeing that you stopped by!

    Enjoy your week too!!

    Scarily yours,

    Ron Crawford

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  4. Hey Chrissy!

    Yes...that second picture really is her. It was a photo taken from the movie Rain.

    Hey, you are SOOOOOOOOOOO right, girl...she does look like the 80's Madonna!

    "Star light, star bright...first star I see tonight..."

    Thanks for dropping by, Chrissy!

    Have a MAAAHVELOUS day!

    With love,

    Ronnie Crawford

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  5. Why don't they make movies like those anymore? We'd watch them... *sigh*

    No wonder you love her so much, leaping from a front porch to escape a piano lesson and ending up with an injured foot sounds exactly like something you would have done as a child ;)

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  6. Hellooooo Twin Anndi!

    Oh my god, I know...why don't they make movies like that anymore?

    Because you and I (and I'm sure others) would watch em'.

    I don't know whether it was the fact that they were in shot in black and white, or the fact that movies back then were not about visual effects, but rather a story.

    They were simple and at the same time more powerful.

    ALWAYS so wonderful seeing ya, my movie lovin' Libra friend!

    Have an awesome day!

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  7. I always thought she looked too severe but she looks almost beautiful in that second picture. Of course you look better as Joan than she did! LOL

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  8. Mornin' Alelamalu!

    bwhahahahahahahaha!

    Oh thank you m'dear...I'm flattered beyond belief.

    I only wish that photo WAS me.

    I know what you mean about her looking severe a lot of the time. But it's amazing how she also had a softer side.

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

    Wishing you a wonderful Monday!

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  9. OMG!!! Guess what's about to start on TV!!!???

    "I Saw What You Did"!!

    I'll watch it and pretend I'm watching with you! =)

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  10. The lighting in those days was very harsh but added to the drama.
    Some very interesting pics you have found there.

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  11. She's a little bit scary looking...

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  12. OMG...Anndi!!!

    Is that NOT too WEIRD or what?!?!?

    I think she knew I wrote this post!

    HAHAHAHAHHHA!

    Ok, and if you pop some popcorn I love LOTS of butter and salt!

    X ya!

    P.S. Have fun and I hope you don't get too scared....BOO!

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  13. She is the reason we do not have wire hangers in our home.... She is one bitch not to be messed with. Hope you have a great week.

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  14. Helloooo Casdok~

    Yes, I totally agree...the lighting was harsher back then, but added to the drama. I think much of that had to do with the use of black and white film.

    Lots of definite shadows.

    Thanks SOOOOO much for stopping by today, dear lady!

    I was so happy to see that you had posted today!

    Happy Birthday and hugs to C!

    {{{{{{{ C }}}}}}}

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  15. Aloha Debi!

    And these are just SOME of the many photos I found of Joan. Many of them were of her HORROR movie days...

    ...and talk about SCARY.

    BOO!

    Hope you're having a great day, Deb!

    I'm so darn happy to hear your wonderful news!

    *wink*

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  16. Hi La La La Leah!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Oh man, you're comment was very funny!

    But truthfully wire hangers ARE a pain in the ass, aren't they. I think of Joan every time two get tangled together and want to scream...

    Christina...NO WIRE HANGERS...EVERRRRRRR!!!

    Ha!

    You're right...she was one bitch not to be messed with.

    Thanks a bunch for dropping by, Leah!

    Enjoy your week!

    Sincerely,
    Joan

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  17. hi ron,
    hmmm, joanie is something else indeed, especially if we are to believe the claims of her children...that aside, she made some fab flicks and was a brilliant actor...she always held me mesmerized by her craziness--that not quite but almost nuts and ready to kill quality was what was great about her..I don't think I ever remember a film in which she seemed even remotely "needy" for lack of a better word...although I have not seen nearly as many films of hers...bette was more my speed and I loved her about as much as you seem to adore ms. mahvelous :)

    xoxoxo

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  18. I was always fascinated by and a bit in love with Rosalind Russell

    I adore many of Joan's roles but she was never at the top of my list

    dear lord the eyebrows!! hard to believe that was ever stylish

    although there hasn't been a look invented that you can't pull off

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  19. So, did Joan wind up getting typecast as her career advanced? I hate to admit this (to YOU anyway, Ron) but I've missed a lot of the old classics. Altho, my sister MADE me watch Baby Jane, so I hear what you're saying about the DRAMA. Did she always wind up as the scary-lady in her later films? I have trouble picturing her as the soft, feminine kissy-face-type.
    But, maybe that's just me.
    I've popped the popcorn w/lots of butter & salt, Ron...but can we watch Glee instead? Please???
    xoxo

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  20. Hello Dear Linda

    You said it perfectly...

    ...she always held me mesmerized by her craziness...

    Me too! Like I shared...she frightened me, but at the same time beckoned me to come closer.

    oooo...oooo...and BETTE DAVIS! I loved her too (as you can tell from my welcome to vent caricature of her).

    Both of these ladies captivated me!
    And both...talented.

    As always, thank you for dropping by dear friend. I will be stopping by your place in a bit, to see what MAHVELOUS treats you share!

    Hope you had a wonderful day, Linda!

    xoxoxo

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  21. Hiya Dianne!

    although there hasn't been a look invented that you can't pull off....

    hahahahahahahaa!

    Thank you, dear lady...I'm touched by your flattery!

    Aren't I CRAZY?

    Ok...and Rosalind Russell!!! Wasn't she the BOMB? Not only was she beautiful, but very versatile in the roles she's played. She was great at both comedy and drama. I have several of her films on video.

    Don't you just love Auntie Mame? She WAS Auntie Mame.

    Thank you for dropping by, Dianne!

    Always a pleasure to share with ya!

    Hope all is well.
    x ya!

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  22. Hellooooo Kathryn!

    Yes...later in her career, is when she portrayed more and more of the scary-type roles. She was willing to take anything as she got older (just to work), so she was cast in all those HORROR films.

    No doubt about it...Baby Jane was some scary-ass film. I own it and STILL get the creeps every time I watch it!

    Mildred Pierce was as soft as she ever got in a film. And even that wasn't real soft. It was more that she was gentle.

    Ok, Kathryn...I'll be over for that popcorn with lots of butter and salt, pronto! Yes, and we can watch Glee instead!!

    Thanks for dropping by, dear lady!

    xoxoxoxo

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  23. I love Joan because she had balls. She could play with the boys and win. Bette was like that and Carole Lombard and I think, Myrna Loy. Love them all!

    Tough broads rule.

    Ron, is that really you in drag? You're seriously fabulous.

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  24. You said it Nitebyrd!

    She had BALLS! And she could be a bitch, but hey...sometimes you just gotta be. Tough broads RULE!

    OMG, yes...Bette Davis too! She and Crawford were very much a like (and the same astrological sign too), which is why they did not get along. However, they respected one another deep down.

    I don't know much about Carole Lombard, but once read she was very vocal and had a dirty mouth. But hey, so do I... so god love her!

    hahahahahaha!

    I also read she and Lucille Ball were very close.

    No...that's not a photo of me in drag and I should have made a note of that below the image just to let everyone know. But whoever it is...he looks faaaabulous, doesn't he?

    As always, thank you for dropping by Sis!

    Have a great Tuesday!

    With love,
    a tough broad
    X

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  25. She was quite the individual. High biatch at it's best!

    Oh, the lost glamour of the Hollywood starlet.

    And yes, her horror movies scared the shit out of me too. Still do!
    :-)

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  26. Hey Nancy!

    High biatch at it's best!

    You said it, Nancy!

    It doesn't get any better biatcher.

    HAHHAHAHA!

    Hey...just wanted to let you know that the temps here in Philly have dropped considerably today. Looks like my black turtleneck is in for a wear!

    *wink*

    Always great seeing ya!

    Thanks for dropping by!

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  27. Love that last picture!!! It completely cracked me up. She always scared me on screen too. And, when Mommy Dearest came out and I watched the wire hanger scene I could never look at her movies in the same way. She was quite a character.

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  28. Hiya Jen!

    So glad you had a chuckle with that last photo...I just couldn't resist!

    OMG...I read the book Mommie Dearest first, before seeing the film. And like you...when I witnessed the wire hanger scene (which was very difficult for me to watch), I always had that vision emblazed in my mind watching her films afterwards.

    She was definitely a character.

    Always so great seeing ya, Jen!

    Thank you for dropping by!

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  29. Love the oics! Some of them I have not seen. My first thought about the 2nd pic was also that of Madonna, the teaser years...lol. I remember when I was young my Nana did those eyebrows. I never understood why & never will. Hope you're having a great week!

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  30. Helloooooo Collette!

    Always such a wonderful treat to see ya!

    When I was searching the web for photos of Crawford, I found so many that I had never seen of her. The second one down (Madonna) was a total surprise. The minute I saw it I had to use it.

    Yeah...I think thick eyebrows back then were the "thing." And before that it was pencil thin. Like Jean Harlow's.

    Thank you so much for dropping by to say Hi!

    Enjoy your week, Collette!

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  31. Got here from Valerie's place and I shall now become a massive stalker.

    How I LOVE Joan Crawford! You have totally captured everything I feel. Everything.

    I used to set my alarm for 1:35 am or 2:10 am to catch her movies in the wee hours of the night. I was 13 and had a small black and white television in my room.

    Surprisingly my parents never caught me and I never fell asleep in class the next day.

    I absolutely love Joan! Love those pictures and what's the deal with the Jenny Stewart face? Self tanner gone awry 40 years before it was invented?

    Just like Chrissy and Collette, when I saw the photo of her with the cigarette hanging out of her mouth I seriously thought that was a picture of Madonna from the '80s.

    Great post!

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  32. Greetings Cadiogirl!

    Welcome! Thanks a bunch for dropping by and sharing a comment. Nice to meet ya!

    I used to set my alarm for 1:35 am or 2:10 am to catch her movies in the wee hours of the night..

    OMG....you are so funny! What a fan!! And as you can tell, I was a big fan of Joan's also. She has to been viewed in black and white because it adds to the DRAMA, don't ya think?

    If you ever get a chance, please rent the movie Torch Song. It's one of her later films. She portrayed a tough and bitchy Broadway star who fell in love with a blind man, who ended up softening her harsh exterior. The photo you see is from a dance number she did in the show. It was right after she got pissed off (as you can see from her face - HA!

    Please stop by anytime. You're always welcomed here!

    Enjoy your day!

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  33. Great blog. Very creative pics.

    I just recall sitting through a movie where she screamed at her daughter about a wire hanger... or something like that.

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  34. Hi Tom!

    Welcome and thanks for stopping by!

    Very nice to meet you!

    Yes...that movie was the infamous Mommie Dearest with Faye Dunaway as Joan. Both a scary and brilliant portrayal.

    NO WIRE HANGERS...EVER!#!*!

    HA!

    This blog is one of my creative outlets. Please stop by anytime. You're always welcomed here!


    Enjoy your evening!

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