Showing posts with label joan crawford. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joan crawford. Show all posts

Monday, March 06, 2017


This post is all about...THE HOMEWRECKER!

Obviously men can be homewreckers too, but melodramatic convention requires that we see it from the female victim's point of view, which requires a female villain. 

From that point of view a sweet, June Allyson-type housewife is targeted by a ruthless wicked city woman and a morality play of epoch scale ensues. My knowledge about this sort of thing comes from movies and novels, which I'll assume are unassailable. 

Maybe that view of the predator was best articulated by H. G. Wells in the opening of his sci-fi novel, "War of the Worlds."

"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own..."

"...that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the creatures in a drop of water."


"With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter."

"No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. "

"Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."

Wow! Wells nailed it!

I know what you're thinking. Surely all men value the rock-steady qualities possessed by a wholesome, loving woman. 

Surely, you're thinking, men have disdain for the ultra-worldly woman who wears fox furs with paws on them and who sucks on cigarette stubs all day. 

But you'd be wrong. Men are, well... easily confused.

We men are vulnerable to the obvious temptation... 

...and we're especially vulnerable to women who laugh at our jokes. It's not only fun to talk to someone who thinks you're funny, you feel you're in the presence of female greatness because she has the amazing intellect necessary to perceive your own wonderfulness when the rest of the world ignores you.

No doubt there's a wonderful honeymoon when the offending innocent wife or girlfriend is removed and the vamp moves in.

But...(Gulp!)...the day surely arrives when, out of the corner of your notice...that you're being observed with all your flaws and imperfections visible. All the books are agreed on what happens next. The first glance only lasts for a moment but you feel the chill of being regarded with what Wells called, "cool and unsympathetic" eyes. 

Yikes and Double Yikes!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


SYDNEY: "Gertrude, I have to talk to you about something."

GERTRUDE: "Do we have to talk now, Sydney? I'm very tired."

SYDNEY: "Yes, it won't wait, I'm afraid. It's about...Stanley."

GERTRUDE: "Er...Stanley?"

SYDNEY (VO): "Yes. You said he was just a friend, but he was always around."

SYDNEY (VO): "Even so, you said he was a friend, and I believed you."

SYDNEY (VO): "He used my shaver, he wore my pajamas, he ate my breakfast cereal..."

SYDNEY (VO): "...but it was okay, because he was your...friend."

SYDNEY (VO): "Finally he left you for another...'friend.' You couldn't take that so you...well, you know what you did. I got you the best lawyer money could buy, and he got you off. But you weren't finished, were you?" 

SYDNEY (VO): "After Stanley there was Fred."

SYDNEY (VO): "After Fred there was Bill, the muscle guy. You caught both of them cheating. 

SYDNEY (VO): "What you did called an 'adjustment'."

GERTRUDE: "The dirty two-timers. They got what they deserved."

SYDNEY: "Maybe, but keeping you out of jail has almost driven me to the poor house. I'm nearly broke." 

GERTRUDE: "I'm expensive. You know that."

SYDNEY: "There's another word to describe what you are, Gertrude."

SYDNEY: "I think you know what that word is."

GERTRUDE: "You mean, I'm....I'm....."

SYDNEY: "Yes, that's right. You are....."


SYDNEY (VO): "Now, with my last few dollars, I'm going to take advantage of this coupon in the newspaper. It's over between us."

GERTRUDE: "Ov...over?"

GERTRUDE: "Did you say, 'over?'"

GERTRUDE: "No man leaves me, Sydney. You of all people should know that."

SYDNEY: "Haw! Put that thing away. We couldn't afford another...adjustment."

GERTRUDE: "Afford? I'll show you, 'afford'."

ON THE FRONT DOOR: A man bursts into the room.

MARVIN: "Sorry to barge in! I'm from the apartment down the hall. I heard a noise and thought you might need help! Say, you're rather easy on the eye. Did anyone ever tell you that?"

 GERTRUDE: "Help? could use some 'help'."


Thursday, November 20, 2014


I'm not scheduled for a new post today but I just stumbled on this comic I made a while back and I couldn't resist putting it up again...right now.  Be warned: it's a little hard to follow, and there's some misspelled words (but the word "Commics" is deliberately misspelled). It's about what happens when a hard-core realist like Joan Crawford joins a group therapy session for poets. 



Tuesday, March 05, 2013


Yes, it's another post on the 40s version of "Mildred Pierce!" I admit it, I just can't get enough of that film. I'll keep watching it til I figure out why I keep watching it. 

Camus called the book's author, James M. Cain, America's greatest writer. I think I can guess why an Existentialist would say that. Cain believes that all people have both a good and a bad side, and for that reason the world is dominated by moral ambiguity and unhappiness. 

 Just for the record, I don't buy Cain's depressing philosophy but he's such a good writer that I give him the benefit of the doubt for the duration of the story.

Warning: I give away some of the less important plot elements here. 

There's a shooting at the start and Mildred is made to tell her story to the police. The novel doesn't start that way, but the device is pure genius because it justifies the narration and the flashbacks that follow. It's a nice way to compress a complicated story. 

Mildred's a simple housewife, but her excessive dedication to her snooty daughter brings her into conflict with her husband. It's tragic because they're both good people. 

She leaves her husband and takes up with an amiable weasel. He's amoral but she needs companionship. 

After she leaves her husband and ventures out into the outside world, she encounters four or five major types of people. It's like a medieval morality tale that introduces us, one by one, to the different kinds of false friends and demons that are out there. All have a good side, but all will eventually betray her. 

Mildred gets a job as a waitress and meets a woman who will become her friend. The friend is helpful when Mildred starts her own restaurant, but is also self-absorbed, and isn't proper friend material.

Unable to find a genuine friend, Mildred tries romance with a formerly rich gold-digger. He has a nice side, but..... 

Even the daughter she made so many sacrifices for treats her badly. Unable to find any good in the world she heroically tries to create the good by spoiling her kid. 

Yikes, I have lots more to say, but I'm running out of space. I'll have to continue this another time.