Monday, August 22, 2011

Joan Goes to Greece

Thanks to TCM's latest "Summer Under the Stars", we've been able to assemble a number of Joan Crawford (and Carole Lombard) movies that we had none of us seen before.  We look forward to sharing them with you in the coming weeks.  This week, we again visited with Ms. Crawford in her 1935 film I Live My Life. Joan is a young society girl Kay Bentley , on a cruise through the Greek Islands with her father (played beautifully by Frank Morgan).  While riding her rented donkey on Naxos, she stumbles (literally) on the archeology site that is being excavated by Terry O'Neill (Brian Aherne). It doesn't take long for Terry to fall head over heels for Kay (though he thinks she is a secretary on the yacht), but Kay resists his charms. For awhile.  When he follows her to New York, she is truly smitten.  But complications, as they say, ensue.  The course of true love is rather rocky, especially with two such wonderfully headstrong people.

Crawford is gorgeous here, and the chemistry between her an Aherne fairly smokes.  As we know from Ann Blyth's introduction to Ms. Crawford on TCM, Joan was a small woman - barely 5 feet tall. Mr. Aherne, however, was 6'3" - together, they make a fairly arresting couple. Crawford's gowns, by Adrian, are lovely; we rather drooled to try some of them on! (And the sight of the attractive Mr. Aherne in a tuxedo was nothing to sneeze at!).  Crawford pokes fun at herself in one scene, commenting on the amount of money she spends on her manicures and on her eyebrows.  She doesn't mention her EYELASHES! She could dust the windows with those eyelashes.

We enjoyed Frank Morgan as Crawford's loving father.  It seems at first that he will betray her, but he is impressive in his affection for his daughter - ready to give up everything he has to make her happy.  And, while you will have to wait awhile for her to show up, it is worth the wait to see Jessie Ralph as Joan's grandmother, the frightening Mrs. Gage.  She is an absolute hoot, and you will enjoy her tremendously.

All in all, this is a fun film, with a great cast and a really nice script.  If you get a chance, see it. You won't regret it. In the meantime, we can direct you to a scene from the film:

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