March 23, 2009

Happy Birthday, Joan Crawford

It may not be a popular opinion, but Joan Crawford is one of my favorite film actresses. Whatever your personal beliefs about her private life and mothering abilities (or inabilities, as it were), the lady could act. Due to the popularity back in the late 70s and early 80s of daughter Christina's tell-all Mommie Dearest, I think Ms. Crawford's acting abilities were panned and overlooked in favor of depicting her as a wire hanger wielding monster.

If you'd like to see some of Ms. Crawford's better efforts, check out Possessed (1931), co-starring Clark Gable, with Ms. Crawford as Marian, an employee in a box company who wants a better life and is willing to become Mr. Gable's mistress to do so; or Grand Hotel from 1932, with an all-star cast, including Ms. Crawford as a stenographer with plans of getting ahead at a hotel in Germany; or The Women from 1939, with an all-female cast and some of the wittiest lines to ever grace the silver screen and with Ms. Crawford playing her first true bad girl; or the role which brought her a much-deserved Oscar, Mildred Pierce (1945), a classic film noir based on James M. Cain's novel of the same name.

Depending on whose version you believe, today celebrates either Ms. Crawford's 101st, 104th or 105th birthday. Regardless, a happy birthday to Joan Crawford, who gave us several decades worth of entertainment, glamour and fun.

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