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Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star (2002)

Unrated | | Documentary | TV Movie 1 August 2002
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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Herself - Narrator
Herself - Actress
Himself - Playwright / Crawford Historian
Himself - Actor
Christina Crawford ...
Herself - Daughter / Author, 'Mommie Dearest'
Himself (archive footage)
Herself - Co-Star, 'Berserk!'
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


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>

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Release Date:

1 August 2002 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


References Susan and God (1940) See more »

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User Reviews

The last film goddess
23 August 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Lucille La Seuer came out of a poor home. Abandoned by her father and raised by a mother that had to struggle to make ends meet, Lucille saw a way out of her dreary life by becoming a dancer with dreams for going far in show business. Little did she know she would go on to become one of America's movie icons in a career that expanded more than fifty years after she became Joan Crawford, a screen goddess without rival.

"Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Film Star", conceived and directed by Peter Fitzgerald, follows Ms. Crawford's life in detail. We are given direct accounts by people that knew her and are still around to tell us. The documentary is narrated by Angelica Huston.

Joan Crawford was a woman larger than life. As an ambitious woman, she knew from the beginning she had to create her own persona in order to carve a niche in the movie industry. Louis B. Mayer was the man who saw her possibilities and quickly hired her to be part of the MGM family.

Ms. Crawford's ambition was boundless. She knew that by marrying Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was her entry into the inner sanctum of most of Hollywood's best people's homes and parties. She transformed herself into the creature one saw in her films. In order to appear more respectable, she adopted a boy and a girl. That girl being Christina, who went to tell it all in her famous book about her adopted mother, "Mommie Dearest", in which one learns about another facet of her character. In fact, Christina talks openly about her adoptive mother quite openly. Ms. Crawford went to adopt three other children, of whom one didn't hear much about.

The interviews with some of the people that knew her well proved to be one of the most interesting side to the documentary. Vincen Sherman, the director who worked with her in several movies, is candid about the woman and her human side. Bob Thomas shows an insight about the star. Also we see testimonies by Betsy Palmer, Anna Lee, Diane Baker, Dickie Moore, Ben Cooper, Cliff Robertson, among others that give us the picture of the woman who invented herself and went to become a dominant figure in the American cinema.

Thanks to Peter Fitzgerald for making it possible.

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