Torch Song: Joan Crawford in Blackface—and That’s Not All!

Early on in Torch Song, the 1953 MGM “musical” starring Joan Crawford as (surprise!) an uber-diva, she’s kvetching to her producer (James Todd):

Crawford: “The script needs jokes, the music needs cutting and the staging—aaugh, it stinks!”
Todd: “You don’t think it’s going to be a flop?”
Crawford: “No show Jenny Stewart’s in is going to be a flop—if I have to pull every trick in the book to make it…

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From The Desk Of

Dear Supreme Court,

Thanks so much for saying that “family-run businesses” don’t have to obey the law.

Yours gratefully,
The Mafia

"So now my most personal healthcare decisions are between me and my creepy manager at the arts and crafts store?!?"

"So now my most personal healthcare decisions are between me and my creepy manager at the arts and crafts store?!?"

Joanie literally sowing her wild oats.

And the award for Publicity Photo That Least Resembles the Movie goes to this one from “The Set-Up.”

My crazy (12-year-old) pup…

They All Kissed the Bride: Crawford Steps in for Lombard

As 1942 rang in, Carole Lombard had just wrapped “To Be or Not to Be” and was excited about working on a new comedy for Columbia, They All Kissed the Bride. But first, there were war bonds to be sold, and she barnstormed through the wintery Midwest, selling millions of dollars’ worth in just a few days. What happened next, every classic-movie fan knows: On January 16, as she returned to…

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With Sorcerer Safely on Blu-ray, Friedkin Sets His Sights on To Live and Die in L.A.

On June 2, director William Friedkin live-Skyped with a packed house at the Film Forum in New York for a screening of his brilliant film, Sorcerer, which is finally getting the attention it has been denied for almost four decades. “This is the best-looking print of this I’ve ever seen,” he told the crowd. “I’m a big fan of DCP [Digital Cinema Package, the digital file supplied to theatres]…

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Gene Kelly, 1950

Oh siiirrr… could you look after my chassis?

How Alice Adams Rescued Katharine Hepburn

On the surface, Katharine Hepburn seems to have little in common with the working-class heroine of Alice Adams, a fumbling, insecure Midwestern girl longing to rise above her roots and rejected at almost every turn. But at the time she took the role, Hepburn could empathize with Alice much more deeply than she may have wished.

After winning an Oscar for 1933′s Morning Glory, Hepburn was trapped…

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