Saturday, January 4, 2014

Gilbert Curiosities & Joan Crawford


My brain won’t stop working…which means I have a hard time falling asleep. Luckily, I can tire myself out by writing posts for my blog or reviews for Biff Bam Pop…but when there is nothing to post , or I need a break from my the short story that I’m working on, then I’ll search the channels looking for unusual shows.


One of  the most interesting shows that I’ve found during my channel surfing is "The Returned". You need to watch this show when it returns for season 2 on Sundance.
The other night, on the Turner Movie Classic Channel, I learned that the month of January was dedicated to Joan Crawford. I always enjoyed watching her in films, but this time I was in for a special treat. TCM featured three back to back films, of which two were silent films featuring a very young Joan.

 These three films were known as the Jazz Baby films and let me tell you, Joan Crawford can dance and she had a great comedic talent that I was unaware existed having seen only later films.

I have gained a new respect for the woman who had been forever immortalized with wire hangers.

The first movie (silent film) that I watched on Thursday night was “Our Dancing Daughters” directed by Harry Beaumont and starring Joan Crawford, Anita Page and Dorothy Sebastian as three young socialites, who are part of the Jazz age and into flapper dances. Our three gals maneuver their way through handsome men and wild times, earning one a bad reputation, another to be a gold digger, and the third to have her true love stolen from her. This film was instrumental in making Joan Crawford a star.

The second silent film was called "Our Modern Maidens" and again stars Crawford and Anita Page. Directed by Jack Conway, and has Douglas Fairbanks Jr. playing the part of Gil Jordan.
Side note: this film was made before the Moral Code was instituted; Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. were married in real life, later that year. 
Billy (Joan Crawford) is engaged to Gil (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) but flirts with and falls in love with a rich entrepreneur, Glenn Abbot (Rod La Rocque). On their wedding day, Billy & Gil realize that they love other people and that Kentucky (Anita Page) is pregnant with Doug's child.

The third installment of the Jazz Baby films is "Our Blushing Brides". Directed & Produced by Harry Beaumont, it stars Joan Crawford, Anita Page, Dorothy Sebastian and Robert Montgomery. This third film reunites all three original Jazz Baby stars and the original director from "Our Dancing Daughters. Keeping up with the times, our three gals are now portrayed as hard working girls who try to keep their honor intact while looking for love. If you're like me, and you can't fall asleep, or if you're hankering for some great classic movies, then you might want to visit the Turner Movie Channel and check out this month's featured star. Joan Crawford was one classy lady with or without wire hanger.


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