Monday, August 21, 2017

Leave it to Joan, Joan, Joan

A moment with The Greatest Star, just because.

This flashed across the Facebooks last week and, as happens occasionally, my first thought was "That's not in Four Fabulous Faces!" Turns out the slightly off-kilter framing is a hint as to why this unusual but I think quite beautiful shot isn't better known, in that it's actually cropped from a trio portrait with Greer Garson and Robert Taylor for When Ladies Meet (here's another from the same session). Still, I think it stands on its own rather nicely.

I'm taken with her clear-eyed gaze into the middle distance, an affect I frequently have to (attempt to) maintain whilst interviewing job candidates who are eager to assure me of their unique skills and abilities, without which they are touchingly certain that Golden Handcuffs will be unable to function in any way whatsoever.

I'm pretty much Team Joan in most debates, but in later years I do miss the relative restraint that Metro imposed on Crawford's tendency to exaggerate her (already remarkable) features. Here the caterpillar brows are in their infancy and the lipline still shows a nod toward reality, and the overall balance of her face is the better for it.

She was a stunner, that's for sure, in her prime.


  1. I am not Team Joan but that picture IS stunningly beautiful!

  2. You just know she is just about to bite something (or someone), though... Jx

  3. More than most, she could either be a triumph or a victim of the still photo. So often she looks sort of waxy, in a Mme. Tusard sort of way, And then, there's this, so, so beautiful. I think it must have been how much the make-up guy could hold his ground.

  4. Team Bette! But she's so pretty there.

    1. When you get right down to it, I'm actually pretty much Team Everyone But Loretta...

    2. I love Judy Garland but I can't be bothered hating Grace Kelly. No one remembers the Country Girl except Judy Garland fans.