Joan Crawford - Rotten Tomatoes

Joan Crawford



Joan Crawford was not an actress; she was a movie star. The distinction is a crucial one: She infrequently appeared in superior films, and her work was rarely distinguished regardless of the material, yet she enjoyed one of the most successful and longest-lived careers in cinema history. Glamorous and over the top, stardom was seemingly Crawford's birthright; everything about her, from her rags-to-riches story to her constant struggles to remain in the spotlight, made her ideal fodder for the Hollywood myth factory. Even in death she remained a high-profile figure thanks to the publication of her daughter's infamous tell-all book, an outrageous film biography, and numerous revelations of a sordid private life. Ultimately, Crawford was melodrama incarnate, a wide-eyed, delirious prima donna whose story endures as a definitive portrait of motion picture fame, determination, and relentless ambition. Born Lucille Fay Le Sueur on March 23, 1908, in San Antonio, TX, she first earned notice by winning a Charleston contest. She then worked as a professional dancer in Chicago, later graduating to a position in the chorus line of a Detroit-area club and finally to the Broadway revue Innocent Eyes. While in the chorus of The Passing Show of 1924, she was discovered by MGM's Harry Rapf, and made her movie debut in 1925's Lady of the Night. A series of small roles followed before the studio sponsored a magazine contest to find a name better than Le Sueur, and after a winner was chosen, she was rechristened Joan Crawford. Her first major role, in 1925's Sally, Irene and Mary, swiftly followed, and over the next few years she co-starred opposite some of the silent era's most popular stars, including Harry Langdon (1926's Tramp Tramp Tramp), Lon Chaney (1927's The Unknown), John Gilbert (1927's Twelve Miles Out), and Ramon Navarro (1928's Across to Singapore). Crawford shot to stardom on the strength of 1928's Our Dancing Daughters, starring in a jazz-baby role originally slated for Clara Bow. The film was hugely successful, and MGM soon doubled her salary and began featuring her name on marquees. Unlike so many stars of the period, she successfully made the transformation from the silents to the sound era. In fact, the 1929 silent Our Modern Maidens, in which she teamed with real-life fiancé Douglas Fairbanks Jr., was so popular -- even with audiences pining for more talkies -- that the studio did not push her into speaking parts. Finally, with Hollywood Revue of 1929 Crawford began regularly singing and dancing onscreen and scored at the box office as another flapper in 1930's Our Blushing Brides. However, she yearned to play the kinds of substantial roles associated with Greta Garbo and Norma Shearer and actively pursued the lead in the Tod Browning crime drama Paid. The picture was another hit, and soon similar projects were lined up. Dance Fools Dance (1931) paired Crawford with Clark Gable. They were to reunite many more times over in the years to come, including the hit Possessed. She was now among Hollywood's top-grossing performers, and while not all of her pictures from the early '30s found success, those that did -- like 1933's Dancing Lady -- were blockbusters. With new husband Franchot Tone, Crawford starred in several features beginning with 1934's Sadie McKee. She continued appearing opposite some of the industry's biggest male stars, but by 1937 her popularity was beginning to wane. After the failure of films including The Bride Wore Red and 1938's Mannequin, her name appeared on an infamous full-page Hollywood Reporter advertisement which listed actors deemed "glamour stars detested by the public." After the failure of The Shining Hour, even MGM -- which had just signed Crawford to a long-term contract -- was clearly worried. However, a turn as the spiteful Crystal in George Cukor's 1939 smash The Women restored some of Crawford's lustre, as did another pairing with Gable in 1940's Strange Cargo. Again directed by Cukor, 1

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Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Women of Valour
  • Actor
2008
100% Spine Tingler: The William Castle Story
  • Actor
2007
No Score Yet Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star
  • Actor
2002
No Score Yet Gay! Gay! Hollywood
  • Actor
1999
No Score Yet Hollywood Hookers
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Judy Garland's Hollywood
  • Actor
1997
100% That's Entertainment! III
  • Actor
1994
No Score Yet Gable and Crawford
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet World's Greatest Movie Challenge
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet Hollywood's Golden Era: Leading Ladies
  • Actor
1989
No Score Yet That's Entertainment, Part 2
  • Actor
1976
100% That's Entertainment
  • Actor
1973
17% Trog
  • Dr. Brockton
1970
No Score Yet Night Gallery
  • Actor
1969
No Score Yet Berserk
  • Monica Rivers
1967
No Score Yet The Karate Killers
  • Amanda True
1967
No Score Yet I Saw What You Did
  • Amy Nelson
1965
80% Strait-Jacket
  • Lucy Harbin
1964
No Score Yet Fatal Confinement
  • Actor
1964
No Score Yet The Caretakers
  • Lucretia Terry
1963
91% What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • Blanche Hudson
1962
60% The Best of Everything
  • Amanda Farrow
1959
No Score Yet Story of Esther Costello
  • Margaret Landi
1957
88% Autumn Leaves
  • Millicent Wetherby
1956
No Score Yet Queen Bee
  • Eva Phillips
1955
No Score Yet Female on the Beach
  • Lynn Markham
1955
97% Johnny Guitar
  • Vienna
1954
No Score Yet Torch Song
  • Jenny Stewart
1953
100% Sudden Fear
  • Myra Hudson
1952
No Score Yet This Woman Is Dangerous
  • Elizabeth 'Beth' Austin
1952
No Score Yet Goodbye, My Fancy
  • Agatha Reed
1951
No Score Yet Harriet Craig
  • Harriet Craig
1950
No Score Yet The Damned Don't Cry
  • Ethel Whitehead / Loran Hansen Forbes
1950
No Score Yet It's a Great Feeling
  • Herself
1949
No Score Yet Flamingo Road
  • Lane Bellamy
1949
100% Daisy Kenyon
  • Daisy Kenyon
1947
86% Possessed
  • Louise Howell
1947
60% Humoresque
  • Mrs. Helen Wright
1946
82% Mildred Pierce
  • Mildred
1945
No Score Yet Hollywood Canteen
  • Herself
1944
No Score Yet Above Suspicion
  • Frances Myles
1943
No Score Yet Film Noir: The Dark Side of Hollywood
  • Actor
1943
No Score Yet Reunion in France
  • Michele de la Becque
1942
No Score Yet They All Kissed the Bride
  • Margaret J. 'M.J.' Drew
1942
100% A Woman's Face
  • Anna Holm
1941
No Score Yet When Ladies Meet
  • Mary Howard
1941
No Score Yet Susan and God
  • Susan Trexel
1940
75% Strange Cargo
  • Julie
1940
No Score Yet Ice Follies of 1939
  • Mary McKay
1939
91% The Women
  • Chrystal Allen
1939
No Score Yet The Shining Hour
  • Olivia Riley
1938
No Score Yet Mannequin
  • Jessie Cassidy
1937
No Score Yet The Last Of Mrs.Cheyney
  • Actor
1937
No Score Yet The Bride Wore Red
  • Anni Pavlovitch
1937
No Score Yet The Last of Mrs. Cheyney
  • Fay Cheyney
1937
80% Love on the Run
  • Sally Parker
1936
No Score Yet The Gorgeous Hussy
  • Peggy Eaton
1936
No Score Yet No More Ladies
  • Marcia Townsend Warren
1935
No Score Yet I Live My Life
  • Kay Bentley
1935
No Score Yet Forsaking All Others
  • Mary Clay
1934
No Score Yet Chained
  • Diane Lovering
1934
No Score Yet Sadie McKee
  • Sadie McKee Brennan
1934
No Score Yet Dancing Lady
  • Janie Barlow
1933
No Score Yet Today We Live
  • Diana
1933
100% Rain
  • Sadie Thompson
1932
86% Grand Hotel
  • Flaemmchen
1932
No Score Yet Women of Courage
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet Possessed
  • Marian
1931
No Score Yet The Stolen Jools
  • Actor
1931
No Score Yet Dance, Fools, Dance
  • Bonnie Jordan
1931
No Score Yet Laughing Sinners
  • Ivy 'Bunny' Stevens
1931
No Score Yet This Modern Age
  • Valentine 'Val' Winters
1931
No Score Yet Our Blushing Brides
  • Geraldine 'Gerry' March
1930
No Score Yet Paid
  • Mary
1930
No Score Yet Our Modern Maidens
  • Billie
1929
40% The Hollywood Revue of 1929
  • Herself
1929
No Score Yet Our Dancing Daughters
  • Diana 'Di' Medford
1928
No Score Yet West Point
  • Betty Channing
1928
No Score Yet Four Walls
  • Frieda
1928
No Score Yet Spring Fever
  • Allie Monte
1927
No Score Yet Twelve Miles Out
  • Jane
1927
100% The Unknown
  • Estrellita
1927
No Score Yet Harry Langdon: The Forgotten Clown
  • Actor
1926
No Score Yet The Boob
  • Jane
1926
No Score Yet Tramp, Tramp, Tramp
  • Betty Burton
1926
No Score Yet Lady of the Night
  • Molly/Florence (uncredited)
1925
No Score Yet WAMPAS Baby Stars of 1926
  • Actor

Quotes from Joan Crawford's Characters