And now it’s time for Back2Stonewall’s yearly Christmas tradition with the star of stage, screen, and wire hanger spokesperson Joan Crawford and her 1949 radio broadcast “Christmas Eve at home with Joan Crawford and her children”
Walk into any gay bar in America and shout, ‘‘Tina, bring me the ax!” and you will unleash a torrent of quotes from one of the most unintentionally campy gay cult classics ever made, Mommie Dearest
Based on the 1978 tell-all memoir of the same name penned by Christina Crawford, the adopted daughter of Hollywood legend Joan Crawford, Mommie Dearest tells it all. From Crawford’s demanding nonstop attention and allegiance from her adopted kiddies to sinks full of ice and rubbing alcohol facials. And lets not forget the booze, the boys and of course “NO MORE WIRE HANGERS”!
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a mixed approval rating of 49% based on 45 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10.
Roger Ebert opened his one-star review with, “I can’t imagine who would want to subject themselves to this movie,” calling it “unremittingly depressing, not to any purpose of drama or entertainment, but just to depress. It left me feeling creepy
About Dunaway’s performance, Variety said, “Dunaway does not chew scenery. Dunaway starts neatly at each corner of the set in every scene and swallows it whole, costars and all.”
Faye Dunaway’s portrayal is so eerily visual and over the top it couldn’t help becoming one of the biggest gay camp classics of all time. Interestingly Dunaway has always gone to great lengths over the years to distance herself from the movie– in an alleged voicemail rant which can be heard here. the actress declared that she was not interested in “dilly-dallying” over the film’s notoriety, and has repeatedly refused to discuss it in interviews.
Well Dunaway be dammed! It was all about Joan anyway. And as nasty as she was Mommie Dearest resurrected her stardom and psychosis from beyond the grave in theaters across the country and energized a generation of drag queens who re-discovered shoulder pads, fuck me pumps, and the “don’t fuck with me fellas” attitude that Joan Crawford was famous for.
Well it was the title of an early George Cukor film, but it is a question every closeted movie star has probably asked himself.
In 1930, the top box office star was a gay man.
Actor Billy Haines lived with his lover, Jimmie Shields, and never posed on the red carpet with a beard on his arm. By 1933, he was washed up in show business; and by 1936, he had become hugely successful in an entirely new line of work-interior decorator. Out of the Closet, Off the Screen: the Life of William Haines details the extraordinary life of Billy Haines, the only matinee idol who ever decided that Hollywood’s price was too high and walked away from film stardom.
This is the story of Hollywood’s first real gay out actor and close friend of Joan Crawford who didn’t give a damn who knew, chose love over money and persevered despite it all.
Joan Crawford; Glamorous Hollywood screen star, man chaser, friend of gays, wire hanger-phobic and allegedly the most sadistic Pepsi swilling mother of the millennium was born Lucille Fay LeSueur on this day March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas.
With a career and gossip that spanned decades there is just too much to write about our dear Joanie. So we will let the following clips and videos speak for themselves.
So lets all raise a Vodka and Pepsi to Miss Joan Crawford. The Patron Saint of Bitchy Gay Men.
According to Joan Crawford’s IMDb page, her last on-screen performance was not TROG but rather a guest spot in the TV series The Sixth Sense in 1972. She portrayed a woman named Joan (how appropriate) in the episode, “Dear Joan: We’re Going to Scare You to Death.”
In a departure from the standard format of the show The Sixth Sense had Gary Collins who acted as host for the episode, interviewing Joan before and after the story. Joan Fairchild (Crawford) has an automobile accident at night outside an imposing old house. The people gathered there are kind enough to give her shelter until her car can be rescued and fixed, however, they have ulterior motives when they sense that Joan is psychically receptive. They intend to use her as a guinea pig for their experiments in extra sensory torture. Will she be able to resist the messages they send to torment her?
Back2Stonewall.com along with Warner Borthers Home video are giving away 2 copies of the digitally remastered, hi-def re-issue of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? – The 50th Anniversary Edition (Blu-Ray or DVD copy your choice!)
In one of the most sensational, and over the top films ever., Bette Davis and Joan Crawford pulled out all the stops for their only collaboration ever creating an iconic horror classic birthing the psycho-biddy subgenre.
The restoration of the film is so masterfully done its a MUST HAVE for any movie fan but the big attractions are the plethora of bonus features on this two-DVD set.
The first of these is a documentary titled Bette and Joan: Blind Ambition (2005). In this 30-minute piece, a number of Hollywood experts comment on the lasting impact of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? There are also two separate programs about the lives of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Jodie Foster hosts a 1994 TNT documentary titled “All About Bette” (48 minutes), which details the fascinating life of Bette Davis. “Film Profile: Joan Crawford” is a 28-minute BBC program from 1967 where she is interviewed by Philip Jenkinson.
In addition to those features, there is also a two-minute excerpt from “The Andy Williams Show” (12/20/1962), with Bette Davis singing “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (sans makeup). There is also a “Behind the Scenes” (6:30) piece about the filming of the movie, which probably ran along with the trailers to promote it.
We have TWO COPIES of WJTBJ – 50th Anniverasry Edition to give away.
HOW TO WIN – Just send an email to me at Will@Back2Stonewall.com with Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? in the Subject line by Sunday October 21st @ Midnight and 2 Winners will be picked at random to recive this terrifing cult classic.
(ala’ Bette Davis)So send an email to Daddy today!
*Warner Brothers will be shipping the DVD to the lucky winner and are not able to send to PO Box address and winners must be within the United States.