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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
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!
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Features Mannequin (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Too good!
17 June 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a highly entertaining, fascinating, outrageous, and sad documentary about Joan Crawford. Say what you want about her, Crawford was an amazing woman who came from nothing and with loads of ambition pushed her way to the top. Twice after her career sank to the bottom, she was able to rebuild it. Vincent Sherman, her daughter Christina, Cliff Robertson, Betsy Palmer, Liz Smith and others held nothing back when talking about the star: the multiple affairs she had with directors, her treatment of her children and husbands, and the antics that went on during the filming of Baby Jane, which were mind-boggling. Also touched on were her alcoholism, which caused her problems in later life, and her miserable childhood, which was the cornerstone of all of her problems.

Crawford's only self-identification seems to have been that of a film star, and her self worth was tied to it as well. She was smart, hard-working, glamorous, and, with the exception of her daughter, those who knew her and appeared in this documentary admitted there was something likable and even vulnerable about her. Ultimately, though, her life played out like a bad B movie. You could see the end coming from a mile away.

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