Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ye Olde Dynamic Duo: Joan Crawford & Anita Page

 The first time I saw Our Dancing Daughters was on YouTube (the full movie has since been deleted but you can still watch a clip) & I was immediately in love. Our Modern Maidens and Our Blushing Brides solidified the obsession.  On-screen Anita Page and Joan Crawford are a pleasure to watch. Together they're the perfect embodiment of youth in the roaring twenties.  Joan Crawford was the best in her flapper era! Pre-talkies, when she was still essentially Lucille le Sueur the dancer, the girlish upstart, and not Joan Crawford the actress.  
She was so believably real; she looked like a real girl having fun - full of exuberance and a kind of edgy cool that's hard to find in movies from this period.  She was never more magnetic or beautiful than she was in this time!.... In fact, is it just my imagination, or did something about her face change around 1932/1933? Anyway, particularly in the three "Our" movies, she is the perfect wild, yet vulnerable gal pal & rival to the old-fashioned but secretly devious character played by Anita Page.
It's a shame that more people aren't aware of Anita Page, though at the height of her fame she received more fan mail than any other star at MGM with the exception of Greta Garbo.  In the three "Our" movies she couldn't help but be charming and lovable, though always playing the somewhat contemptible offset to dazzling heroine, Joan.  She had the perfect silent starlet face: sweet, sad, innocent,  adorable. 
plaintive looks & lotsa fan mail

...And have you seen her in her old age?? Totally over the top opulence - the best old lady! Check out this interview with her by Skip E. Lowe from 1993! :

Amazing....not to mention the bizarre aesthetic of the intro...and her interviewer I'll save that research for a later post....

What I really love about Joan and Anita when they acted together is that even though they were rivals, they were also friends! They sympathize with each other and share their sad moments. I love it.


  1. your blog is really cool, i love how well-researched your posts are. i can look at pretty pictures and learn something too! keep up the good work!

  2. Thanks so much Colleen; I'm so glad you found it!