Tag Archives: Joan Crawford

Jean Negulesco – Humoresque [+Extras] (1946)

A moment of personal tragedy prompts concert violinist Paul Boray (John Garfield) to re-evaluate his life. He recalls happier times when, as a small boy, his mother gave him a violin for his birthday. After years of dedicated study, Paul becomes an accomplished violinist, but he finds it impossible to work so he can pay his way. One day, his pianist friend Sid Jeffers (Oscar Levant) takes him along to a party hosted by the wealthy socialite Helen Wright (Joan Crawford). The latter is trapped in a loveless marriage with an older man and finds the headstrong young violin player a tempting proposition. She decides to act as Paul’s patron, financing his debut concert and providing him with a manager. Through Helen’s money and contacts, Paul soon becomes an established musician, and he shows his gratitutde in just the way Helen hoped he might. But just when Helen thinks she has won her man, she realizes that she will never be able to compete with his one true love: his music… Read More »

Richard Thorpe – Above Suspicion (1943)

Quote:
If you believe all-American Fred MacMurray as an Oxford don, you’ll probably swallow the rest of Above Suspicion. Newly married to Joan Crawford, MacMurray goes on a honeymoon in prewar Germany. Actually it’s more business than pleasure: they are secret agents for the British, attempting to smuggle back information about a new superweapon being developed by the Nazis. Evil, mean, cruel and also wicked German officer Basil Rathbone imprisons and tortures Crawford (though she still looks like a million bucks), but McMurray comes to the rescue, paving the way for a suspenseful race-to-the-border climax. Read More »

Nicholas Ray – Johnny Guitar (Widescreen) (1954)

Quote:
Vienna has built a saloon outside of town, and she hopes to build her own town once the railroad is put through, but the townsfolk want her gone. When four men hold up a stagecoach and kill a man the town officials, led by Emma Small, come to the saloon to grab four of Vienna’s friends, the Dancin’ Kid and his men. Vienna stands strong against them, and is aided by the presence of an old acquaintance of hers, Johnny Guitar, who is not what he seems. Read More »

Tod Browning – The Unknown (1927)

Quote:
A criminal on the run hides in a circus and seeks to possess the daughter of the ringmaster at any cost. Read More »

Jim O’Connolly – Berserk (1967)

Monica Rivers is the owner and ringmaster of a traveling circus, and she’ll stop at nothing to draw bigger audiences. When a series of mysterious murders begins to occur and some of her performers die gruesomely, her profits soar. She hires high-wire walker Frank Hawkins, impressed by the handsome and muscular young man. They begin an affair which arouses her previous lover Durando’s jealousy. When Durando is found dead shortly afterward, the other performers begin to take alarm, as a mysterious killer is obviously loose in their midst. Read More »

George Cukor – The Women (1939)

Synopsis:
Wealthy Mary Haines is unaware her husband is having an affair with shopgirl Crystal Allen. Sylvia Fowler and Edith Potter discover this from a manicurist and arrange for Mary to hear the gossip. On the train taking her to a Reno divorce Mary meets the Countess and Miriam (in an affair with Fowler’s husband). While they are at Lucy’s dude ranch, Fowler arrives for her own divorce and the Countess meets fifth husband-to-be Buck. Back in New York, Mary’s ex is now unhappily married to Crystal who is already in an affair with Buck. When Sylvia lets this story slip at an exclusive nightclub, Crystal brags of her plans for a still wealthier marriage, only to find the Countess is the source of all Buck’s money. Crystal must return to the perfume counter and Mary runs back to her husband. Read More »

Curtis Bernhardt – Possessed (1947)

Quote:
Joan Crawford won an Academy award in 1945 for Mildred Pierce, and, two years later, she was trying her utmost to win another. Her gripping, melodramatic star turn helped make Possessed a hit and a prime example of post-war film noir. Crawford can’t find happiness with either Van Heflin or Raymond Massey, and her fiery emotions drive her into a lethal frenzy. Based on Rita Weiman’s book One Man’s Secret, Possessed is told almost entirely in flashbacks, the goal being to figure out what drove Crawford’s character crazy. As a dark psychological study, this is Hollywood at its moodiest; love has rarely seemed so perilous and fraught with anxiety. German director Curtis Bernhardt was known for making emotional films that appealed to women. Crawford got her Oscar nomination, but Loretta Young won the statuette that year for The Farmer’s Daughter. Read More »