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What a wonderful tribute to Joan Crawford, one of my favorite actresses (and I came late to my appreciation of her, much to my shame). I love her in Sudden Fear (God, she's fantastic in that), and Daisy Kenyon. She had great compassion for the women she played, but she wasn't afraid to let it get ugly. A brave and intelligent actress.

I am so in love with the moment in Strait Jacket when she lights the match off of the record player. It is so NUTTY and she does it with such an insouciant obnoxiousness, like: "whaddya thinka THAT, bub?"

Thanks for the great post, Kim. I haven't seen the special features you mention, and I really have to get on that.

Peter Nellhaus

In the documentary, Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, Anne Helm tells about being fired for addressing the star by her first name, rather than "Miss Crawford".


This is beautiful, intelligent, and very touching as well, Ms. Morgan-and the DVD extras are well worth the price of purchase!
I've read quotes from William Castle that Ms. Helm was replaced by Diane Baker because she couldn't hold her own against Crawford's presence (not dissing Helm, either)but Baker's performance is just RIGHT in this film--Diane doesn't get overwhelmed by Joan. I think if SJ had had a higher budget (and the genre more respect)JC would have at LEAST been nominated for Best Actress! Thanks so much for this!

Thomas Dukenfield

Great stuff. I'm glad you mentioned AUTUMN LEAVES, which is probably my fave Joan performance (and never released on DVD in the U.S., unfortunately).

My favorite William Castle movie is unquestionably I SAW WHAT YOU DID, which structurally integrates a hilarious comedy with a suspense thriller in a wonderful and unique way.

Maybe my favorite "Crazy Mama" movie (after BABY JANE) is SAVAGE INTRUDER aka HOLLYWOOD HORROR HOUSE, which is basically Miriam Hopkins (a woefully underrated comedic actress) in a gruesome slasher version of SUNSET BOULEVARD. It's still pretty obscure it seems, but I'll hopefully try to write a review of it soon; spread the word, as it were :)

J. Larsson

I love this movie but I mostly love it for it´s camp value. I think it´s a hilarious movie, the most brilliant scene is the one containing the immortal line: "It was an asylum!" The way Crawford acts in that scene is both touching and way, way over the top and I wouldn´t want it any other way.

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