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brit1955

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73 out of 92 people found the following review useful:
Wonderful on DVD, 12 June 2004

I first saw this wonderful film in the early 1960's on television - made in 1941 is seemed old fashioned, slightly stilted and truly from another time.

Later on in the seventies and eighties I'd watch the occasional late nite re-run on TV and it just seemed camp.

In the nineties I bought the video - something to keep. A little bit of cinema history.

Last week I bought "Now Voyager" on DVD and was completely blown away!

Perhaps it's because I know the story so well, but I was able to appreciate the movie on several different levels such as cinematography, direction and editing.

Bette Davis was always the prime reason for watching but I never realized what a fine naturalistic actor Claude Raines was. His scenes with Bette Davis exude intelligence and warmth.

I stopped to consider what a 2004 remake might look like - who could play the leads? Who would direct? What would the score be like?

With no disrespect to anyone in the movie industry, I don't think a remake would ever be possible.

The actors and technicians on this movie were truly masters of their craft.

I defy anyone who watches the first ten minutes not to be hooked until the closing credits.

Queen Bee (1955)
3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
Joan was never lovelier and the suds were never sudsier..., 12 June 2004

Billed as a tale of ruthlessness and passion in the Deep South, "Jezebel", "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte" or "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" this ain't.

Joan plays the eponymous Queen Bee, Eva Philips, in a sparsely populated hive of drones - each with a reason for hating Eva.

The establishing shots of innocent cousin Jennifer arriving at a Southern Plantation gives us a hint that something unpleasant is in store for someone.

Unfortunately, in this case, it's the viewer.

This is due in part to the score (which snaps from moody melodrama to lush "Here comes Joan and isn't She Lovely" themes) and the obvious 100% pure soap plot.

There's a wonderful cameo from Fay Wray but she probably had more reason to be scared by the dialog than she was by Eva or even King Kong.

OK - plot and score aside, what's the real reason for watching the movie?

In two words, Joan Crawford.

Joanie could never really do 'evil' on film (not like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck or Olivia de Havilland) preferring instead to present the image of the polished lady who knew exactly which gloves to wear with an evening gown.

Her playing here probably reveals more about her own life than it does about Eva's.

Knowing what we do now, it's a chilling insight into the life of a true movie star.

Watch this movie back to back with "Mommie Dearest" and you will be staggered by Faye Dunaway's portrayal of Joan Crawford.

Watch "Queen Bee" and you will be impressed with Joan Crawford's portrayal of Joan Crawford.