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What possessed the author to write this ?
on 9 May 2012
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.Well there are enough documented stories about that film to fill a single book.He then omits any reference to the following years Oscar ceremony.Not only did Crawford actually canvass against Davis,she got all of the other actresses to agree to allow her to accept the award on their behalf.Ann Bancroft won and Crawford duly accepted.
There is very little about Hush Hush Charlotte and her "illness".
You cannot write an objective biog if your are a fan as the author prooves.