I'm not saying that Joan Crawford was a better actress or was in better films than Ms Davis, as both were really quite different. Bette, small and fiery; Joan, dark, brooding, melodramatic, though despite their competitiveness they were to unite in 1962 for the gothic horror 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane'.
Both Oscar winners, though Bette got more, Joan's real triumph is Grand Hotel which even today is a timeless classic, though it's its 80th birthday, this year. Winning Oscar for Best Picture, everything from the legendary luminosity of the silver screen to the array of stars playing interesting characters make for a really enjoyable and emotionally fulfilling experience. Joan herself is utterly mesmerising on screen and you can see that the camera adores her. Legendary stars Greta Garbo and John Barrymore head the cast.
Mildred Pierce may be Joan's best known and loved picture as a leading lady and showed the Oscars panel exactly what she could do, winning Best Actress. She shows huge and deep emotional range and the film's popularity has been increased by an HBO TV series adaptation starring Kate Winslet, last year.
Humoresque is one of those superbly crafted rags to stardom classics that Hollywood did so well in the '40s. John Garfield is the intense violinist who gets embroiled with the rich and autocratic Crawford. Heady stuff - and the wonderful music won an Oscar for Franz Waxman.
The Damned Don't Cry is a steamy crime drama where Joan is definitely the lead, as she shines above a collection of colourless male criminal types.
In 1947's Possessed, Joan is a woman on the edge of sanity and all chaotic, moody and bruising. Not her best film but again, she out-acts everything, including the scenery.
The set comes in two separate cases, one with three discs in, the other two and which fits into a slipcase. It's also extraordinarily good value and no film is a dud and includes at least three classic 'must-haves'.
If you have not seen any films of Joan Crawford,then this the THE best collection for you by way of the introduction. It brings out her best films. All the dvds come with extras on Joan Crawford and the commentaries on the films. All the films have multi-lingual subtitles, dvd transfers are superb.
All the films in this collection,with the exception the Grand Hotel,are highly powerful and absorbing dramas on the human nature,frailties,desires and hopes. Don't give them a miss!!
MILRED PIERCE is the story that combines the elements of family drama with the elements of cine noir. There is a murder,there is greed for money,the visual treatment of the film is in the style of cine noir. Lot of play of shadow and light, lot of action happens in the night. In the core,the film,nevertheless remains a family drama,the story of a strong-willed Mildred Pierce,fighting in the world of men for success and security for the family after she is separated from her husband. She builds a successful chain of restaurants, prevails in the world of men until... well,I don't want to spill the beans further.
GRAND HOTEL. Although the film is alost 80 years old,it hardly shows the signs of being dated, It is because of the human interest stories involved behind the façade of the Grand Hotel. Ms.Crawford steals the show as a steno-secretary.
THE DAMNED DON'T CRY. A powerful morality tale about an ambitious woman,Ethel,who wants the best of life, for which she is willing to do anything. She leaves her working-class family,gets into modelling,climbs up materially with the help of the underworld,until one day the fate catches up on her and she vanishes, back to the little town,where everything started.She has made many morally dubious choices in life for her overbearing ambition but she was never deprave morally. She believed in "thou shalt not kill". That was her redemption.
POSSESSED is the story of a woman,Louise,who is obssessively in love with a man who does not requite her love. It is a psycho-thriller,because the story unfolds from the psychological perspective,told in many flashbacks. A highly absorbing film indeed!
HUMOURESQUE is another story of all consuming,overpowering love of a woman,Helen Wright, for a violinist,Paul Boray,for whom his music is everything in his life.
I wanted originally what ever happened to baby Jane and has most people associate Bette Davis with this film, it can be really quite expensive to buy, but this way you get four films and in some cases cheaper than buying the film singualy