Tina, bring me my tights: Joan Crawford's Torch Song as Swan Song
Crawford always found the zeitgeist. She was a liberated flapper at just the right moment. Then she transformed into a shop girl who makes good to highlight the collapse of the economy. And after WWII, she debuted her last great incarnation for the screen -- a self-empowered and independent woman who didn't need anyone by her side to make her complete. It played beautifully to pre-Women's Movement audiences. And then, when her star began to fade, her film choices became more over-the-top and her characters more broadly sketched. In Torch Song, she is Joan Crawford as Joan Crawford playing Joan Crawford. It is a camp classic, though Crawford hoped it would be something very different.
Torch Song (1953)
Tuesday, February 25, 6:30-9 p.m.
Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center
Starring Joan Crawford. Directed by Charles Waters.
A classic film of the Hollywood Regency era, watching Torch Song is like staring at perfectly lit costume jewelry – all icy beauty, saturated color, glitter and artifice. The sets, the costumes, the script, Joan Crawford’s eyebrows – all seem larger than life. Filmed in gorgeous Technicolor, this is one of Joan Crawford’s last great roles; she has become a caricature of herself as The Star. It works brilliantly in this film – but discerning viewers will see that the mirror has cracked. 90 minutes. Not rated.