Joan Crawford on DVD

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Lino
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Joan Crawford on DVD

#1 Post by Lino » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:57 pm

From this year's chat:
More Joan Crawford boxsets including the film Flamingo Road. Look for the next release in 2007 with Flamingo Road being restored.
I wonder if Torch Song is going to be included? In fact, ever since watching that Two-Faced Woman number in one of the That's Entertainment movies, I've been aching to see the whole embarassing shebang on my TV!

Is it really as camp as it looks?

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david hare
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#2 Post by david hare » Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:11 pm

Two Faced Woman is the onyl genuinely camp moment in the movie.

It's a Charles Walters picture so there's great attention to movement and performance. AS a Joan sudser it plays pretty well.

But Two Faced Woman doesn't even look like it was directed by Chuck. And note Im not even mentioning the blackface - I mean "tropical" makeup.

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#3 Post by shearerchic » Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:31 am

along with flamingo road, i'm hoping on these titles:

-strange cargo
-a woman's face
-sadie mckee
-susan and god

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#4 Post by Tom Peeping » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:18 pm

I'd like to see included:

Harriet Craig
Susan and God
Strange Cargo
Mannequin

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#5 Post by david hare » Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:21 pm

Good to see support growing for Strange Cargo (and all the others.)

I'd like to see a Borzage box (OT Joan I know) with:

Little Man What Now
Mortal Storm
Man's Castle
Flirtation Walk
Mannequin
Living on Velvet
the Green Light
Strange Cargo

Not to mention the 20s and 30s Fox titles.

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#6 Post by shearerchic » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:13 pm

warner bros. usually gets these sets right, so i have a good feeling strange cargo will be included.

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#7 Post by david hare » Tue Nov 21, 2006 3:43 am

How so? Do tell?

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#8 Post by rohmerin » Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:39 pm

I have seen today an awful print of Man's castle. I wonder if it belongs to Columbia nowadays.

Me too, I would like that WB will release Borzage's films.

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#9 Post by shearerchic » Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:37 am

davidhare wrote:How so? Do tell?
Because Strange Cargo is in the top 40 requested titles on TCM.

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#10 Post by Lino » Wed Dec 13, 2006 10:38 am

Watch the original theatrical trailer for Torch Song.

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#11 Post by shearerchic » Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:13 pm

still no info on this yet???

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#12 Post by Lino » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:26 pm

According to the recent chat, an official announcement of this set shouldn't be long.

Warner also said that Trog is on the way too, though at this point no one knows if it will be part of the set or not.

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#13 Post by shearerchic » Fri Mar 02, 2007 3:27 am

i think trog will be part of their halloween promotion. they better not dare put that wrteched film in her set.

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#14 Post by shearerchic » Sun May 27, 2007 2:22 am

Joan's Boxed Set #2. Winter 2007/2008.

Three of the five films on the second boxed set of Joan's films have been announced:
Strange Cargo, Flamingo Road, and Torch Song.

Strange Cargo (1940)
. Featuring the documentary "Crawford & Gable."

When Joan Crawford (already a major film star) was paired with the formidable, earthy newcomer Clark Gable in "Dance Fools, Dance," a torrid extramarital affair ensued which translated into onscreen electricity that "threatened to burn down Hollywood." Here was a duo of tough-talking, working class comers who met their match.

But, Gable was still married to a former spouse and married to a second wife when the Crawford affair was in full flower. So, MGM paid off wife #1, re-remarried him to wife #2, and sent Joan and husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr. on a second honeymoon with a stern warning from LB Mayer. But, the duo soon resumed their romance at the height of their popularity on "Possessed" and "Dancing Lady" and again after her divorce. However, their insatiable ambitions and other partners would mellow their affections into that of an "intimate friendship" during "Chained" and "Forsaking All Others" that would endure for the rest of their lives.

Later, Crawford's public appeal waned, and Gable offered to help her career with another teaming, but the misguided screwball comedy, "Love On The Run" lead to her being labeled "box-office poison" and the studio offered her a mere one-year contract renewal while Gable cranked out hits with other leading ladies. In time, Crawford would fight her way back to gain a foothold with the hit comedy "The Women" while Gable shone in "Gone With The Wind" and MGM paired them for one last time in "Strange Cargo" - one of their finest dramas together. But, when Gable got top billing, Crawford balked and soon left MGM for greener pastures at Warner Bros.

Gable and Crawford provided affection and love for one another (notably after the death of Carole Lombard) and recognized each other as a star-crossed counterpart - periodically rekindling their ties into the 1950's. In fact, Crawford would remark on David Frost ('67) that among all of her co-stars, Gable had been "the king - on and off the screen."

Flamingo Road (1949). Featuring the doc "Crawford at Warners."

Trying to control fiery Bette Davis, Jack Warner hired MGM veteran Joan Crawford to his studio, and she would beg, borrow or steal a string of dramatic roles from Warner Bros best actresses to make the successful transition from young to middle-aged leading lady in Hollywood.

Coming to the studio famous for its gangster pictures, Joan Crawford was reticent about her first film and waited two years to film "Mildred Pierce" which won her an Oscar for best actress. But, she knew the studio specialized in noir, and went about raiding the best vehicles on the lot.

Intended for Ida Lupino, Crawford pinched Jean Negulesco "Humoresque" for its dark, alcoholic supporting role for which she would give a brilliant performance. The following year when Bette Davis got pregnant, Crawford pocketed her role in "Possessed", for which she would glean another Oscar nomination (fuelling a feud with Davis, which played out in "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane." Then, Ann Sheridan lost the lead to Joan in the Sydney Greenstreet melodrama "Flamingo Road" this time playing a seedy carnival hoofer ten years her junior to modest success.

WB tailored "The Damned Don't Cry" for Crawford, who pulled out all the stops to reinvent herself as the penultimate shady lady gangster who brawls with the bad boys and won a success. However, her attempts to stretch as an actress (playing a congresswoman) "Goodbye My Fancy" and a rehash of the gun moll in "This Woman Is Dangerous" kept audiences away in droves. Joan Crawford parted ways with Warner Bros. in 1952 having once again rejuvinated her screen persona - but not without the help of a few disgruntled actresses in Burbank.

Torch Song (1953)
. Featuring the doc "Tough Baby: Torch Song."

At long last, we rediscover the 1950's camp classic spoofed for decades in which Joan Crawford plays the melodramatic, domineering Jenny Stewart, a song-and-dance legend who finds love and humility in the arms of blind pianist, Michael Wilding -- the MGM musical, "Torch Song."

Made the year after her Oscar nominated triumph in RKO's "Sudden Fear," Crawford was determined to make her MGM comeback armed with a great set of gams, a second-rate script and a few recycled musical numbers for which she unwisely recorded her own still-existant vocals (including the shockingly-wrong blackface number, "Two-Faced Woman" which were later dubbed by India Adams.

Borrowing A-list director Charles Walters from rival Esther Williams, Crawford turned in the most hilariously belligerent and by stark contrast, gushingly romantic caricature ever committed to film while behind the scenes she enlisted her adopted children to the tasks of running her errands and giving her foot massages, as told by "Mommie Dearest" author Christina Crawford. The film was rife with cheesy zingers and unbelieveable musical moments and upon it's release was not surprisingly relegated to b-picture status. And to add insult to injury, Crawford's co-star Marjorie Rambeau won a supporting actress Oscar nomination as her boozy, but wise Mom while she was snubbed.

As "Torch Song" reemerges from many years of legal setbacks, it is more enjoyable and over-the-top than ever - a film that critic Pauline Kael described thus, "The viewer is asked to admire Joan Crawford's legs and her acting, which consists of pushing her mouth into positions meant to suggest suffering. The first is easy; the second impossible. In this misbegotten melodrama, she finally settles for a blind musician, which, all things considered, is a remarkably sensible decision."

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#15 Post by david hare » Sun May 27, 2007 3:47 am

( HUGE APPLAUSE!)

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Lino
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#16 Post by Lino » Mon May 28, 2007 9:05 am

Where did you get that info, shearerchic?

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#17 Post by shearerchic » Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:19 pm

Lino wrote:Where did you get that info, shearerchic?
HTF

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#18 Post by kinjitsu » Tue Oct 16, 2007 4:54 pm

filmnoir1 wrote:DVD Beaver is reporting that there is to be a second Crawford boxset which will include Flamingo Road, Torch Song and Strange Cargo.
davidhare wrote:Notice of this box was originally given at the Warner HTF chat earlier in the year but it was then promsed for last quarter 2007. Now looks like 2008.

And the biggest treat on it is surely Borzage's Strange Cargo - the first Warner owned Borzage to get out there.
Lino wrote:Details
Warner Home Video have announced the Region 1 DVD release of the Joan Crawford Collection Volume 2 on 12th February 2008. Following the success of its best-selling Joan Crawford Collection in 2005, Warner brings you a new set of Crawford classics featuring some of the Oscar-winning actress' finest films – A Woman's Face, Flamingo Road, Sadie McKee, Strange Cargo and Torch Song

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#19 Post by shearerchic » Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:42 am

I was pretty close with what I thought would be released.

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#20 Post by Lino » Fri Oct 26, 2007 11:16 am

Apparently, this will be available as a set only and not individually. A shame. I'm not that big a Crawford fan to want to spring for the whole deal.

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#21 Post by Matt » Fri Oct 26, 2007 12:34 pm

Lino wrote:Apparently, this will be available as a set only and not individually. A shame. I'm not that big a Crawford fan to want to spring for the whole deal.
I'm not that big a Crawford fan either, but the roles in this set are arguably more "quintessentially Crawford" than those in the first set (excepting Mildred Pierce). I think you would especially enjoy Flamingo Road.

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#22 Post by shearerchic » Sat Oct 27, 2007 2:39 pm

Yeah with the exception of the hilariously campy Torch Song, the other 4 films are Joan's trademark films. She gives two of her strongest performances in Strange Cargo and A Woman's Face and to see her go at it with Sydney Greenstreet is a must see.

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#23 Post by david hare » Sat Oct 27, 2007 9:10 pm

I think the chronological pattern of these titles will be revelatory to nascent Crawford fans. Sadie McKee has its problems as a movie and it's dullly directed but her performance is an embodiement of "early"Crawford as tart climbing up the social ladder, and things like Joan's mannerisms and accent are still in the process of beijng formed into what would become her prime 40s persona. In the Borzage she has a chance to re-pair with Gable (always good screen chemistry) and Borzage gives her performance a strongly sexual and vulgar edge, very much like her excellent Sadie in Rain, but far more technically accomplished. Flamingo Road is a perfect late 40s Curtiz and the fireworks between her and Greenstreet are formidable.

I'm sorry to say I don't really think that much of Torch Song, even allowing the Two Faced Woman number for camp, and essentially it's Chuck directing a soaper - other directors, like Aldrich in Autumn Leaves do a much better job. Another problem with it is Michael Wilding as the blind pianist who never meets her performance emotionally.

But the box is an essential buy for me.

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#24 Post by Lino » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:47 am


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#25 Post by david hare » Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:56 pm

WHAT THE FUCK!

Torch Song in 1.85????

This is a first - reinventing 1953 MGM musicals for the modern viewer - what fucking next - Band Wagon in 1.85? Singin' in the Rain?

Yes imdb lists it as 1.75. Wrongwrongwrongwrong - tell that to the guardians of the faith - the countless thousands of queens who packed the house at Theater 80 St Marks for every screening of this picture for thirty years.

So jsteffe and yoshi my friends, there's no revisionism going in the these re-issues, heh!

This is a movie for which one only gradually attains affection, like a refined zen consciousness , and then for probably all the wrong reaons - like Joan in blackface. After that it's an axiom of cinema. In 1.37 only.

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