Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Joan Crawford Showdown

If you were stuck on a desert island and had a choice between Susan and God and Dancing Lady, which would you want? Well, I'd like a third choice, but after watching both in the past week, I'd have to vote for Dancing Lady.

First off, Susan and God has to be one of the most annoying Joan movies I've seen. The only saving grace for the entire movie was Fredric March, who at one point threatons Joan's character with a chair. He should have hurled it. I had an hour invested into the movie so I kept watching it. I'm not going to waste my time here writing about it. Moving on...

Now Dancing Lady, that's a whole other story. I'd describe this movie as prime MGM. Franchot Tone is in it, plus Clark Gable, The Three Stooges (to my surprise), Robert Benchley, and Fred Astaire for a number or two. I'm not a big musical person, but the way they stage these scenes, it draws you in. There's one muscal scene where people from the 1800s walk from their time into the 1930's, changing their costumes and vehicles just by passing a wall. I know I can't describe it correctly here, but it's nice camera work. There's a scene where Joan & Fred Astaire are dressed in German outfits, you know, the lederhosen and blond pigtails. Wish I had a photo of that scene. Oh, another scene, where the women are singing about beer & pretzels. The camera goes from woman to woman where they look into the camera and sing/talk a line. They just sound so blah it's funny.

There's one scene where Franchot takes Joan to meet his family. He's wearing a white suit, white shirt, white tie & white shoes. For some reason I started thinking he was an elegant version of Boss Hog. Wow, Franchot has his own web site - www.franchot-tone.com

2 comments:

violaviolet said...

I only saw a few mintues of Susan and God, and was glad I didn't tape it. Dancing Lady on the other hand....fabulous movie! I rather got a kick out seeing Curly billed as Jerry Howard.

Carrie said...

I think that's what threw me off with the Stooges - the description said "the Howard brothers" or something like that. I love the plot synopsis Amazon gives, with the stooges comment:

"Janie lives to dance and will dance anywhere, even stripping in a burlesque house. Tod Newton, the rich playboy, discovers her there and helps her get a job in a real Broadway musical being directed by Patch. Tod thinks he can get what he wants from Janie, Patch thinks Janie is using her charms rather than talent to get to the top, and Janie thinks Patch is the greatest. Steve, the stage manager, has the Three Stooges helping him manage all the show girls. Fred Astaire and Nelson Eddy make appearances as famous Broadway personalities."