Monday, March 29, 2010
Joan Crawford: Flaming Youth
This is all Felix's fault.
He started it by posting his favorite picture of Joan Crawford - a 1931 or 1933 portrait that shows a luscious La Crawford making love to the camera.
Then TBJ posted his tribute.
And that got me thinking - because Crawford changed with the decades and kept herself relevant to the times. With one notable role - Crystal from The Women. For that role, Crawford's look was reverted back to 1929's Our Modern Maidens - the movie that shocked America. In that role, Crawford's hair was set in tight curls, kept dark and her make up played up a wild eyed flapper who, caught in a loveless marriage, breaks another marriage up, divorces and lives happily ever after.
So it seemed logical that The Women's "Crystal" looked harsh - like a flapper turned perfume salesperson.
This image above is from the movie - two cars loaded with young people out for thrills roaring down the road and up stands Crawford - wild eyed, dressed in sequins, raises her hand to egg on the revellers, the fates be damned. She was the ulimate silent film flapper - hurry, hurry: faster!
If you get the chance, watch Our Dancing Daughters (the film she did before OMM) and then watch Our Modern Maidens. Then watch The Women and understand Crystal just a bit better.