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Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002)

TV Movie  -   -  Documentary  -  1 August 2002 (USA)
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In this documentary on the life of 'Joan Crawford', we learn why she should be remembered as the great actress she was, and not only as the "mommie dearest." caricature she has become. ... See full summary »

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Title: Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (TV Movie 2002)

Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (TV Movie 2002) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Herself - Narrator
...
Herself - Actress
...
Himself - Playwright / Crawford Historian
Ben Cooper ...
Himself - Actor
Christina Crawford ...
Herself - Daughter / Author, 'Mommie Dearest'
...
Himself (archive footage)
...
Herself - Co-Star, 'Berserk!'
Virginia Grey ...
Herself - Actress
Sydney Guilaroff ...
Himself - Key MGM Hairstylist (archive footage)
Herbert Kenwith ...
Himself - Director / Friend
...
Herself - Actress
...
Himself - Actor, 'The Bride Wore Red'
...
Herself - Actress
...
Herself - Actress / Crawford Co-Star
...
Herself - Actress
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Storyline

In this documentary on the life of 'Joan Crawford', we learn why she should be remembered as the great actress she was, and not only as the "mommie dearest." caricature she has become. Friends, fellow actors, directors, and others reminisce about their association with her, and numerous film clips show off her talent from her start in silents to bad science fiction/horror movies at the end of her career. Daughter 'Christina Crawford' even explains the origin of the phrase "No more wire hangers!". Written by David Glagovsky <dglagovsky@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

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Release Date:

1 August 2002 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Himself - Interior Designer: There was more clear plastic on that furniture than was on the meat in an A&P!
See more »

Connections

Features Berserk (1967) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Superbly Done
28 May 2006 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This is an engrossing and faultlessly researched documentary with excellent movie clips. (The montages are GREAT!) I especially liked seeing the bit where you can actually glimpse Crawford playing for a fleeting second with Norma Shearer as her double in LADY OF THE NIGHT in 1925, and the sound clip from her radio recording of Ibsen's classic drama A DOLL'S HOUSE. (It's intriguing that some of her contemporaries have said elsewhere she was surprisingly effective in the plays she mounted with husband Franchot Tone in their little home theater, making us wonder if she might have actually been able to pull off classic stage roles if she'd taken it further.)

I do have to take issue with this comment from the review below, though:

<< I noticed Christina seemed all too eager to bring forth the darker side of Joan -- how she forced the children to do the cleaning, the wire hanger incident, taking over her role in "The Secret Storm" and all I sense from Christina is an incessant need to repeat to the public how nasty Crawford was. The damage has been done already with the book and MOMMIE DEAREST, isn't it time to move on?...It's the only headache in the entire documentary >>

We don't know how much tape the producers shot with Christina Crawford or what else she was asked, all we know is what they finally chose to use. To say that Christina is "still" focusing on that aspect of Crawford's life and should "move on" is like saying that Cliff Robertson is "still" focusing on AUTUMN LEAVES and should do likewise.

When the 20th Anniversary edition of her memoir MOMMIE DEAREST was released, Christina gave many interviews in which she praised her mother's career and effective performances. Those professional issues have never been in dispute, though, and what Crawford's daughter has to offer that's unique is insight into what the star's home life was like at specific periods of time.

Again, this is an extremely well done documentary, giving an excellent overview of Joan Crawford's life.


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