One of the most enduring screen icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age, and since introduced to a new generation of fans with the TV drama Feud: Betty and Joan, Joan Crawford will be the subject of a long-overdue career retrospective at the BFI Southbank this autumn.
Running from August through October, Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford is a season of films spanning over four decades of the actor’s career, from her earlier celebrated roles in George Cukor’s The Women (1939) and Michael Curtiz’s Mildred Pearce (1945), to her comeback roles in Nicholas Ray’s Johnny Guitar (1945) and Robert Aldritch’s Feud-inspiring Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962).
Fierce will also draw on some of the lesser-known entries in Crawford’s filmography. Amongst those is an early screen appearance, in horror master Tod Browning’s The Unknown (1927), Cukor’s film noir A Woman’s Face (1941) which sold her as a genuine dramatic force to an audience who knew her as a glamorous screen idol.
The retrospective is capped off by a sixties schlockmeister William Castle double-bill in Straight-Jacket (1964) and Saw What You Did (1965).
Along with the almost twenty films screening during the season, the BFI Southbank will also play host to the one-off event “An Afternoon with Joan Crawford” on August 3. A series of “illustrated talks led by experts and fans alike,” this Crawford-centric symposium will assess her life on screen and off, as one of Hollywood’s original “it girls,” to her presence as a cultural figure both parodied and lovingly homaged.
The Women and Mildred Pierce will be showing as part of an extended run from August 17. Both films will also Both films will be re-released in selected cinemas across the UK by Park Circus.
For full event and film listings for Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford, check out the BFI website.
Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford runs at the BFI Southbank from 1 August to 9 October 2018