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Joan Crawford: Always the Star (1996)

TV Movie  |   |  Documentary  |  30 September 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 2.5/10 from 80 users  
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This glamorous and hugely popular actress raised herself from brutal poverty to Academy Award-winning stardom by guts, determination and hard work. During her fifty-year career, she made ... See full summary »

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Title: Joan Crawford: Always the Star (TV Movie 1996)

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Credited cast:
Ben Cooper
Herself (archive footage)


This glamorous and hugely popular actress raised herself from brutal poverty to Academy Award-winning stardom by guts, determination and hard work. During her fifty-year career, she made over eighty films. But her obsessive perfectionism led to the later caricature of coat-hanger-wielding harridan that even the adoration of fans could not counter. Still, she has endured as one of the most popular icons of the movies, an early role model to a million young women who aspired to her image of stylish magnetic power and unquestioned independence. She was born Lucille LeSueur on March 23, 1904 (or 1906) in San Antonio, Texas. Her father soon disappeared and she took the name of her stepfather, calling herself Billie Cassin. When Cassin, too, vanished, Billie did menial work to help her mother and brother survive. Ill-paid sales jobs bought dancing lessons and the clothes she needed to enter amateur contests. Then came a night-club contract as chorus girl - $25-a-week and eight routines a ... Written by Janson Media

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Release Date:

30 September 1996 (USA)  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

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User Reviews

Nice Look at Crawford
16 May 2013 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

Joan Crawford: Always the Star (1996)

*** (out of 4)

Nice, if all too short, documentary taking a look at the troubled early life of Joan Crawford who would rise to become one of the biggest stars in the world but then have her reputation ruined a year after her death. Cliff Robertson, Ben Cooper, Diane Baker and Vincent Sherman are just a few of the people who are interviewed about the actress and each of them have some pretty good stories to tell. It's pretty clear that Crawford had a very troubled childhood and this here probably helped her strong work ethics, which of course had her working in Hollywood for over fifty-years. It's rather interesting seeing how Crawford would change from one decade to the next and there's a good rundown of the type of characters she was playing in the silent era, the 30s Depression era and on through her career. We get a lot of behind-the-scenes talk from her most famous films including some rather creepy (or funny) stories from her working with Bette Davis on WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE. The Mommie Dearest book is discussed a bit and the majority of the people claim that they never saw any abuse. It should be noted that Sherman had given interviews saying he did witness the abuse but he's not asked about it in this documentary. With that said, at just 53-minutes this thing can't get into great detail about her career but fans should still enjoy hearing the stories.

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