Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #134

SR 1134

She changed her name from Lucille LeSueur (rather pleasant sounding, one would think, even if it does make some folks think of canned peas) to Joan Crawford (which is not pleasant at all, hinting of a matronly official who is not pleased about anything). Then she posed for this publicity still, where it was obvious that she was prepared to take her own life if she didn’t get her way. And, lest we forget, she apparently had a string of lovers longer than the line at the opening night of “Gone with the Wind”.

But despite these clear signs of her lackluster nurturing skills, the adoption agencies in California still arranged for children to be delivered to her door along with the milk and the newspaper. How was anyone surprised when one of those product-placement urchins, aka Christina Crawford, eventually published a tell-all book about what it was like to grow up with a spiteful woman who eventually had eyebrows with their own zip code?


13 replies »

    • Now that you mention it, that’s a very good observation. I initially thought she was just trying to restrain herself from attacking the photographer for asking if she had perhaps gone a bit too far with the mascara…

      Liked by 2 people

  1. I still love her performances in “Mildred Pierce,” “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” and the lesser-known, B-movie from the late 60s / early 70s, “Trog” – but I shudder to think what growing up in her house must have been like. Truth is stranger than fiction, and “Mommie Dearest” only peeled back a very small layer, I would imagine…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, she’s great in all three of those films, in her unique way. (And I should add the somewhat-surreal “Johnny Guitar”, a movie that confused EVERYBODY, including Joan. What the hell were they trying to say with that mess?) And I agree that Christina Crawford (or her editor) held back with some of the more outlandish incidents. Still, there’s the movie version of “Mommie Dearest”, which allowed Faye Dunaway to chew up the scenery with her crazy eyes, and that was a delicious treat all by itself… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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