Archive for the ‘1929’ Category

a 1928 Joan Crawford pantyhose adI didn’t realize it, but tomorrow morning – Wednesday, March 12 – TCM is showing three of Joan Crawford’s early performances: Our Dancing Daughters (1928) at 6:00 am, Our Modern Maidens (1929) at 7:30 am, and Our Blushing Brides (1930) at 9:00 am. The first two are silents, while the latter is a talkie. Even though I’m not really into silents (sorry!), I’m always interested in watching performances of actresses I like. They’re also rarely shown–I think this is the first time in ages that the “Our” trilogy is being aired in a consecutive block.

Our Dancing Daughters is the film that catapulted Joan to stardom, while in the second, she stars with her second husband, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. It would be the only time they would appear together in a film. According to the IMDB trivia page for Our Modern Maidens, Crawford married Fairbanks “in a well orchestrated publicity event for the film.” Which I’m not sure is true. That makes it sound as though Crawford only married him for the movie, which adds to her already tarnished image. In reality, their marriage was a real, yet passionate one. In the book Not the Girl Next Door by Charlotte Chandler, an interview with Fairbanks states, “We felt we had a lot in common, if not everything. Our backgrounds are not the same. In real estate, they say–location, location, location. In our relationship it was Sex! Sex! Sex! That was what we had in common.” Heh.

Crawford constantly called Fairbanks’ her “Prince Charming.” This only intensified when Fairbanks scared off a man who claimed he had a copy of a rather risque film Joan had made when she was financially strapped for cash. I’ve always wondered about that rumor myself. Apparently Joan had made such a film (which has either disintegrated or is currently rotting away in someone’s attic as we speak). When she told Fairbanks about it, she claimed not to have done anything terrible in it, but the fact that she was present made it embarrassing enough. The rumor is also addressed in the 60’s trashy-but-fun melodrama, The Carpetbaggers, in which the Jennie Denton character (played by Martha Hyer) is loosely based on Joan Crawford.

However, the marriage between Crawford and Fairbanks ended when she not only put her career first, but changed as a person. As Fairbanks put it, “As I knew her, her laugh changed more than any other thing about her. It grew softer, more modulated, less spontaneous…she didn’t want her background to show.” The divorce was her idea and Fairbanks assumed that they would eventually get back together again. They didn’t. Joan would go on to marry (and eventually divorce) Franchot Tone in 1935 after falling in love with him during the shoot of Today We Live (1933). Despite this, you can see Crawford and Fairbanks together, at the height of their passion, in Our Modern Maidens.

For anyone wanting more info on Our Dancing Daughters, this page includes vintage reviews and images, while this site has extensive reviews on both, Our Dancing Daughters and Our Modern Maidens.

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