Friday, August 3, 2007

Joan Crawford Movies

My roommate is gone this weekend leaving me to watch TCM 24/7. It's great.

Joan Crawford was the "Star of the Day" today and I watched a crazy film, Autumn Leaves. I missed some of the beginning, but the gist of it was Joan Crawford gets mixed up with a younger man, Burt, and eventually, he convinces her to marry him. Not only is he like 20 years younger than her, he's also incredibly corny, saying things like, "Hey, man, that's "Bop" talk!" Plus, he's extremely needy and he kind of reminded me of Norman Bates.

A short two weeks after their wedding, Joan finds that most of what she knew of Burt's past (which apparently wasn't much) was a lie when she gets an unexpected visit from his ex-wife who she didn't know existed. She finds that his father, who he said was dead, is in fact alive, and she goes to visit him. He's wearing a referee outfit and clearly has the hots for Joan, and he basically tells her that Burt's a compulsive liar.

After some sharp investigative work, Joan finds that the father and the ex-wife are having an affair and have been scheming to get rid of Burt. Apparently, Burt had discovered his father and ex-wife having SEX and their reappearance drives him insane. Literally. He becomes convinced that Joan is in on their schemes and he slaps her a number of times before throwing a type writer at her and breaking her hand. This leads everyone to believe that he's insane. Which he is. He has no recollection of his violent outburst and Joan continues to stand by him, ignoring the advice of...pretty much everyone.

She finally meets with the sanitarium man and he basically tells her that they can fix Burt, but the only reason he's married to her is because of his neurosis and once he's fixed he probably won't want her anymore. Nevertheless, Burt's incessant weeping finally drives her crazy (not literally), and she sends him off to the loony bin. This is followed by a nice little montage of 1950's psychotherapy, also known as, electrocution.

So, Burt gets all fixed in his head, Joan comes to get him, it turns out he still wants her, and they make out in the middle of the sanitarium while a Nat King Cole song (I think) plays over the credits. The End.

My favorite Joan Crawford movie is Mildred Pierce. It doesn't get much better than a mother and daughter having affairs with each other's husbands and murdering people.

Of course, an honorable mention must be made for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? I love when Bette Davis beats her up and pushes her down the stairs. They don't make 'em like that anymore.


KL said...

I love Mildred Pierce! It's awesome to see someone like Joan Crawford get upstaged by an equally evil and conniving daughter!

Bacall said...

Mildred Pierce was Crawford's best. I think all her fans will remember her for this movie. But I must say, it doesn't get better than "Baby Jane..." when both Betty and Joan have the final show down.

Nice blog! I will be adding a link on my blog to yours.

Anonymous said...

"A Woman's Face" is my fave Crawford movie. A little over the top but she keeps you guessing in it.