One of the most polarizing stars from old Hollywood was also one of the stars that supplied it (bountifully!) with its glitz and glamor… the talented and beautiful Joan Crawford. I spent a great deal of time (entirely too much, if we’re being honest) trying to decide what movie or what pictures to use for today’s pictures of the day in her honor.
While photos from a movie she walked out on (Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte) and from a tough time in her life may seem bizarre on my part, there’s a method to my madness.
She began work on the film which co-starred Bette Davis (a huge nemesis of Crawford’s!), but was ultimately replaced by Olivia de Havilland when Joan bowed out very early in filming.
It’s apparent that this was a very difficult time for the star – undoubtedly made worse by working with a star she disliked so strongly.
When Joan was replaced, Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland carried out a “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” routine by toasting one another with Coca-Cola (a nudge to Joan Crawford’s husband having been an executive of Pepsi-Cola and that she was now on the board of directors). Joining in on the toast were co-star Joseph Cotten and director Robert Aldrich.
So, it is quite apparent that there was no love to be found for Joan Crawford on the set of this film. Now, I’m not saying she was exactly an angel, herself! All I’m saying is that Joan had to have been completely miserable around this time… not just miserable… but completely miserable. Not only was she fighting father time, she undoubtedly must have often felt like she was fighting everyone at every turn.
So why choose these two pictures from such an unhappy time? Look at them. What do you see?
I see the posture of a queen and the unshakable confidence of a grand Hollywood legend. I see Joan Crawford holding her head up high… letting everyone fighting her know that they weren’t going to beat her down.
That’s why I chose these two pictures. Because they represent what I love the most about Joan Crawford.
Happiest of birthdays to one of the stars who made old Hollywood one of my favorite places on earth.