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Joan Crawford personally bought the film rights to Edna L. Lee's novel, The Queen Bee, for $15,000, then sold them to Columbia under the following conditions: she would star, Jerry Wald would produce, Ranald MacDougall would write the screenplay and direct the film, Charles Lang would be the film's cinematographer, and she would have contractual approval on her costume, make-up and hair designers. Each of these conditions was fulfilled. See more »
I admire you so much. You're so nice in spite of... in spite of the way things are.
I believe you're being sympathetic. Don't feel sorry for me, I like people around me to laugh and be gay.
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Joan Crawford appears to have a field day in this extraordinarily engrossing, overheated family melodrama. Ranald MacDougall's script is like Tennessee Williams without the poetry or the subtext. And it's like Douglas Sirk without the sumptuous color or the inner turmoil it disguises.
Eva Philips is possessive, controlling, and self-absorbed, and Crawford plays her to the hilt. What more could any fan ask?
In one memorable scene, her cousin asks what the doctor said (about Eva's troubled child). "Such extravagant things!" responds Eva, "Did you see how the doctor trembled as he spoke to me? You'd think he'd never seen a beautiful woman before!"
Moments like these are pure gold (or should it be 'honey'?) in this wondrous opera-without-singing.
The rest of the cast consists of some more than adequate talent: Barry Sullivan (Eva's booze-soaked, trampled husband), John Ireland (a former lover, still caught by her stinger. He gets one of the best lines: "Whatever you are Eva, you're on wheels!"), Betsy Palmer (the deer in Eva's lethal headlights). Lucy Marlow (that starlet from the opening sequence of A STAR IS BORN, 1954) is passable. (In a recent TCM documentary, it is revealed that Crawford really slapped the younger actress with all her might.). Fay Wray makes a brief, but noteworthy appearance early on, a past casualty of Eva's rampaging ego.
If you enjoy watching a 5-foot Godzilla in a Jean Louis gown, don't miss QUEEN BEE.
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