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Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford

Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford [Kindle Edition]

Donald Spoto
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Book Description

The incredible story of a Hollywood legend

Product Description

'I've been protected by studio publicity men most of my life, so in some ways I'm a goddam image, not a person. I was a commodity, a piece of property... I felt an overwhelming obligation to my career, and so I was an actress first, a wife second. I worked almost constantly, and even when I wasn't working, there was that image thing of looking like a star, conducting myself like a star. I just went ahead like a bulldozer. I was a very selfish woman.'

Joan Crawford was a complex, contradictory, driven human being, but not the alcoholic, sadistic monster depicted in the notorious book, Mommie Dearest, which appeared a year after her death.

In some ways, Donald Spoto's Possessed is the ultimate Hollywood book - about a young woman, poor, abandoned by her father, but determined at all costs to succeed . Born in Texas, Lucille Fay LeSueur escaped destitution by becoming a popular dancer and then managed to make the decisive leap that transformed her into a luminous, unique star of the screen. She became Joan Crawford.

There were many important men in her life, not least Clark Gable, with whom she appeared in eight pictures and with whom she conducted a thirty-year affair. She was married four times, once to the debonair Douglas Fairbanks Jr, unaware that he had failed to discontinue his relationship with Marlene Dietrich.

Dancer, dramatic actress, businesswoman, corporate executive with Pepsi-Cola, Joan Crawford during her lifetime (1906 - 1977) was rarely out of the news. With the use of only recently opened archives and personal papers, Donald Spoto probes behind the lurid headlines to bring us Joan Crawford, the private person as well as the movie legend.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1263 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (3 Feb 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004M8S7AQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #158,753 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What possessed the author to write this ? 9 May 2012
By Wingate
The author admits in the introduction to being a fan.He then posses a question as to why another biog of Crawford is required.He then spends the next 290 pages proving that his effort was not warranted.
It is a revisionist tome which mirrors the authors tiresome obsession with Christina Crawford.
The author seems to want to make the point that Crawford was obsessed with being a star and that she would become possessed by her roles.the only film where there might be some truth was Craigs Wife.
Whilst Crawford was a great film star she wasnt a great actress playing great roles.She didnt go on suspension for better parts.She acepted what she was given or what she could find.The author acknowledges that many of her films at Metro were undistinguished.That being the case it is difficulrt to understand his asertion to the contraray,and his insistance on reciting the plots of many of her forgettable films.
His obsession with Christina Crawford and her book all but ruins what could be an interesting book.Page 194 has to be the silliest page i have ever read in any biog.He discusses whether the hangers were made of wood or wire and who put them in the closet.He tries every means possible to discedit Christina.He tries to prove she had an unreliable memory because she got wrong the date Yul Brynner visited her mother.She highlights Myrna Loy's description of Christina,whilst decrying Helen Hayes recollections on the basis that they were published after Christina's book.He doesnt seem to be able to accept that Crawford was capable of such infamous behaviour and this seriously mars the book.
Then we have the Crawford-Davis feud.the author says that this was a publicist's idea to drum up publicity for Baby Jane.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cracking good read 20 Mar 2011
Very enjoyable. A different view of an exceptional person debunking some of the previously expressed perceptions particulaly by her daughter Christina. I finished liking the lady and appreciating the exceptional volume and scope of her professional and personal life. But is it true or just another take? I recommend it if you want an enjoyable read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Megan ReadingInTheSunshine TOP 100 REVIEWER
Donald Spoto has written many other books detailing the stories of many well-known people, and in this one, he addresses the life of Joan Crawford.

After Crawford's death, her daughter released memoirs which were published in her book "Mommie Dearest", painting a less than flattering view of Joan Crawford. However, in this book, Spoto takes on the claims in Mommie Dearest and challenges them, attempting to correct the public's perception of Joan Crawford, and look at her life and career in a different light.

Although the book wasn't for me, it is a very interesting and intriguing take of Joan Crawford's life. It delves into the highs and lows of her life, giving you all the information and leaving the reader to make up their own mind. A must read for any Joan Crawford fans.
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