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The Damned Don't Cry: The Crawford Formula - Real and Reel (2005)

The Joan Crawford crime thriller, The Damned Don't Cry (1950), is the topic of discussion for various interviewees.




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Complete credited cast:
Ethel Whitehead (archive footage)
Glenn Erickson ...
Boze Hadleigh ...
Himself - Author
Drew Casper ...
Himself - Director
Karen Swenson ...
Herself - Biographer
James Ursini ...
Himself - Film Historian & Critic


The Joan Crawford crime thriller, The Damned Don't Cry (1950), is the topic of discussion for various interviewees, which include the film's director, Vincent Sherman. The film's story was loosely based on Bugsy Siegel's real-life gun moll, Virginia Hill. The producer, Jerry Wald, who came out of journalism, was naturally attracted to the script's sensationalism. The interviewees discuss the brisk pace and snappy dialogue, a common feature of Warner Bros. pictures during the Golden Age. They explain why Joan Crawford's character was a mirror image of the actress's own life and why the character uses sex to get what she wants. And they explain why they aren't talking about a film with Joan Crawford; they're talking about a Joan Crawford film. Written by J. Spurlin

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Release Date:

14 June 2005 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


[first lines]
Glenn Erickson: Joan Crawford, from the very beginning in her own life, realized that what she had to sell was her own glamor, her own good looks.
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References Mildred Pierce (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

Always the star
24 October 2007 | by See all my reviews

This is a very short feature on the DVD of "The Damned Don't Cry" that discusses Joan Crawford's star quality, basically making the point that off-screen as well as on, she always dressed and acted like a star. It was her all-consuming identity.

Much has been written about Crawford, a good deal of it derogatory. It is difficult to overlook her disciplinary actions toward her children, and one must always remember that alcohol played a large role in her behavior. On the plus side, she was a true rags to riches story, self-invented, disciplined, hardworking and intelligent. I once read an interview with her where she made some astonishing - and true - assessments of the then-hot Hollywood stars - not in any way unfavorable, just an assessment of their abilities. The lady knew what she was talking about.

Betsy Palmer and Ann Blyth were both friends of Crawford's and speak well of her. Rather than seeing her as an enemy of Bette Davis or a nasty woman, it's nice once in a while to remember she was part of Hollywood's Golden Age, as luminous and glamorous as they got.

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