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Grand Old Movies

I agree, the cast in this movie looked a little fearful of Joan. Maybe she wasn't method, but perhaps she really wanted the other actors to be a little afraid of her during filming so it would carry over into the film itself. Whatever she did, it worked. What I love about Crawford is that she was such a pro, she gave EVERYthing to whatever she was doing, and never condescended to role or audience (which is why a film like Straight-Jacket works with her). And she looks FABulous in that strapless black dress. Haven't seen The Caretakers, but will keep an eye out for it-thanks!

Peter Nellhaus

I come from a family of Bette Davis partisans on my mother's side. As it was, The Caretakers was my introduction to Joan Crawford. I saw the film theatrically when I was 12. Being that age, and with an idea of female beauty largely shaped by sneaking glances at "Playboy", my reaction to Crawford was that her face wasn't much to look at, but she did have some very shapely legs.

As The Siren can attest, my feelings about Crawford have evolved over the years. And I'm glad I caught a semi-private screening of Autumn Leaves, once upon a time.


Great write up of one of my favorite films. I've never thought she was all that evil in it, either. I occasionally get irritated when all of her later work is labeled as camp, even when it doesn't really apply.
And I love the comment: "she was such a pro, she gave EVERYthing to whatever she was doing, and never condescended to role or audience (which is why a film like Straight-Jacket works with her)." Seconded!

David Simmons

That's a great slap, but my favorite movie slap is Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in "The Maltese Falcon": "When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it!"

I've always had mixed feelings about Joan Craford, but there's no denying her greatness.


Thank you for this great piece. Queen Bee is wonderful, and should be shown on TCM (and elsewhere) more often. When Ladies Meet and Susan and God are also favorites, though she is great in everything and always gave her all. And yes, scars ARE sexy!

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