A PORTRAIT OF JOAN by

A PORTRAIT OF JOAN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This is no slick, autobiographical, ""as told to"" production number. One may not like everything here. One may indeed conclude that Mildred Pierce and Queen Bee were so meticulously type-cast that Crawford has only to walk through the parts in Adrian shoulder pads. But make no mistake about it, this is Joan Crawford speaking- self-sufficiently, indomitably, sanctimoniously, uncompromisingly, apolitically, appallingly Joan Crawford. Her early life reads like some of those horrendous movies she made before she learned to put on her lipstick without smearing it. She came from a broken home in Kansas City. She worked for a sadist who threw her down stairs and beat her with a broom handle. She came to Hollywood Lucille Lesueur, wanting to be ""the best dancer in the world"". There were a flock of bad movies until her succes d'estime. A Woman's Face. The rest is Hollywood history, interrupted every five years by a tribune of doom blasting ""Crawford is through"". Those who saw her this year at the Academy Awards know most emphatically that the soothsayers were wrong seven times. (That's seven multiplied by five, plus the seventeen that she was at the start of her career.) All is here, including some that shouldn't be: her self righteous ""explanation"" of the mother-daughter feud; a maddening paternalism vis-a-vis Franchot Tone; a thinly disguised attack upon Moreedes McCambridge. To be read after the Late Show, sipping a bottle of Pepsi.

Pub Date: July 6th, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday