Friday, July 16, 2010

I'm not mad you, I'm mad at the DIRT!

I finally bought one of my favorite movies on DVD. There’s an FYE not too far from our house and they were having a buy two used, get one free sale. So I picked up Team America, Fear and Loathing (replacing my never-returned copy) and Mommie Dearest!

I absolutely adore this movie. It’s been my favorite for a long time. I remember watching it on TV when I was a kid, not really knowing who Joan Crawford was or why she was so “dammed mad!” all the time. I watch it now and it’s just me swooning over the entire movie. From the hair, the clothes, her house…the eyebrows!

I have not read the book the movie is based on. I have severe OCD when it comes to books-to-movies. If I see the movie first, then read the book and there are the slightest differences, I can not finish the book. This has happened to me many times before. If I happen to read the book first, and the movie changes even the smallest details, if I notice it the movie is then ruined for me. Example: In the movie Interview with the Vampire, his Brad Pitt’s characters age is 25. In the book, he’s 28 and it drives me crazy. It’s the same with remakes, especially with horror movies but that is a whole ‘nother long post. If you have read the book and seen the movie, shoot me an email and let me know what you think, if the movie did the book justice.

Although I had seen this movie many times, I still didn’t know a whole lot about Joan Crawford herself. Thanks to Wikipedia, I learned quite a bit. The more I learn, the more I love her. She was actually from Kansas City, MO, which I live in a suburb of. And just as her personality shows in the movie, she didn’t have the easiest life. It’s a really interesting story and I suggest you check it out.

I though Faye Dunaway did an Oscar-worthy performance throughout the entire film. The resemblance physically is remarkable.

Granted, Faye is shown as an older Joan in this picture, but still! That’s pretty God damn close if ya ask me!

I was unaware that when this movie originally came out, it wasn’t well received. I just assumed everyone loved it! There is a special features section on the DVD that talks with the cast, the producer, director, etc…Faye was noticeably absent. Later in the feature, they start discussing the opening of the film and how the critics just hated it. A few months after the original release, Paramount saw that the movie was gaining a reputation for an unintentional comedy. I can understand that view, there are a few scenes that border on campy or extreme, but at the same time I think Joan was a bit of an extreme person. Those scenes could be completely true to life (minus the rose garden scene-never really happened, great scene though.) According to this little featurette, Faye completely shuns the movie, despite the cult following that it has amassed today.

Everyone always talks about the “wire hanger” scene, which is terrifying. She has the cold cream on which just enhances her features even more, and some of the expressions she makes are really more for a horror film. I was actually planning on getting her face from that scene tattooed on me somewhere…I may still do that.
I don’t have one favorite scene; I really enjoy the entire movie. It shows both sides of her, when she gets excited about getting the movie part and then turns right around a chops off her daughters hair for “making fun of her” as she play acts in front of her mothers mirror.

A lot of people say none of the beatings or rampages ever really happened. I am no where near a Joan Crawford biographer; I just know the movie and what little I have read about her. You will have to form your own judgment of her and her actions, real or otherwise.

I still think she’s fabulous.


Ivey Scarlette said...

Amazing movie, thanks for writing this little featurette about it. I loved it growing up, and love it even more now that I recognize who Joan Crawford was and the obstacles she overcame. Probably an early influence on my love of vintage styles and fashion.

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