We love Joan.
We love TCM.
And when the two merge . . . Viola! Joan Crawford in the 1950s, a collection of four high-profile dramas, three of them available on DVD for the first time ever.
After winning an Oscar for Mildred Pierce (1945) Crawford enjoyed a career revival that continued well into the ’50s with a string of memorable dramatic performances. This November, Turner Classic Movies will take a look at this important period in Crawford’s career.
Joan Crawford in the 1950s will be available exclusively through TCM’s online store (http://shop.tcm.com) as part of the TCM Vault Collection, beginning Monday, November 5. The set includes fully restored and re-mastered editions of Harriet Craig (1950), Queen Bee (1955), Autumn Leaves (1956) and The Story of Esther Costello (1957). The collection also features an introduction by TCM’s Ben Mankiewicz and extensive on-screen digital bonus materials, including production stills, behind-the-scenes photos, lobby cards, movie posters and more.
Each film in the Joan Crawford in the 1950s collection offers a fascinating glimpse at the Oscar-winning star’s post-Warner Bros. career, when she became one of Columbia Pictures’ top stars. At the time, such success was rare for a middle-aged actress, especially one who had previously been branded “box-office poison.” Throughout her career, however, Crawford was known for defying the odds. She had previously been dumped by MGM, only to remake herself and win an Academy Award at Warner Bros. When the luster of that achievement wore off, she scored newfound success at Columbia, playing mature women in powerful dramas.
The following four films are included in TCM’s Joan Crawford in the 1950s DVD collection:
Harriet Craig Crawford plays a materialistic housewife who ruins her marriage and alienates her friends through her obsession with maintaining the perfect home. Wendell Corey costars under the direction of Vincent Sherman.
Queen Bee Crawford is a manipulative Southern socialite who tries to control the lives of those around her, resulting in dire consequences. Barry Sullivan and Betsy Palmer costar. Charles Lang’s cinematography and Jean Louis’ costume designed earned Oscar nominations.
Autumn Leaves This dark romantic drama stars Crawford as a lonely spinster who falls in love with a younger man with severe mental problems. Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles and Lorne Green costar. Robert Aldrich earned the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival for his directing. The title song is performed by Nat King Cole.
The Story of Esther Costello Crawford plays a wealthy divorcee who devotes herself to helping a deaf and blind girl while fending off charlatans who want to exploit the teenager. Rossano Brazzi and BAFTA winner and Golden Globe nominee Heather Sears costar in this drama directed by David Miller.