All articles and pages may contain affiliate links. You can read our disclosure policy here.
In memory of her birthday on March 23rd, we thought we would share our 5 favorite Joan Crawford movies.
Grand Hotel (1932)
She was in top form in Grand Hotel. Her role in this is not the shrewish characters she would play later in her career and is a nice departure if you are only acquainted with those roles.
Grand Hotel has an amazing ensemble cast include Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore and of course Joan Crawford. Guests check in, share parts of their lives with one another and then leave. In the movie she plays Flaemmchen a hired stenographer for textile magnate General Director Preysing (Wallace Beery), who is in Berlin to make an important business deal. Murder and mayhem ensue.
The Women (1937)
Joan plays Crystal Allen who is a witch with a capital “B”.
When Ladies Meet (1941)
Joan again plays the other woman.
Mary (Joan Crawford), a writer working on a novel about a love triangle, is attracted to her publisher ( Herbert Marshall ). Her suitor Jimmy (Robert Taylor) is determined to break them up; he introduces Mary to the publisher’s wife (Greer Garson) without telling Mary who she is.
Mildred Pierce (1945)
By the early 1940s, MGM was no longer giving her plum roles; newcomers had arrived in Hollywood, and the public wanted to see them. Crawford left MGM for rival Warner Bros., and in 1945 she landed the role of a lifetime.
Mildred Pierce gave her an opportunity to show her range as an actress, and her performance as a woman driven to give her daughter everything garnered Crawford her first, and only, Oscar for Best Actress.
Two aging film actresses (she and Bette Davis) live as virtual recluses in an old Hollywood mansion. Jane Hudson, a successful child star, cares for her crippled sister Blanche, whose career in later years eclipsed that of Jane. Now the two live together, their relationship affected by simmering subconscious thoughts of mutual envy, hate and revenge.
Their longstanding rivalry may have helped fuel their phenomenally vitriolic and well-received performances.
Do you have a favorite Joan Crawford movie?