Classic Crawford Film Series: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

Date: 12/01/2023
Time: 7:00 pm-9:00 pm

Robert Dance, author of Ferocious Ambition: Joan Crawford’s March to Stardom (to be released in October), will introduce three Crawford films. You wont want to miss seeing these classics on the big screen! An astute, lavishly illustrated evaluation of one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Ferocious Ambition will be available for sale and signing by the author.

Fridays at 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 27: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Nov. 10: Sudden Fear (1952)

Dec. 1: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)

Robert Dance’s new evaluation of Joan Crawford looks at her entire career and—while not ignoring her early years and tempestuous personal life—focuses squarely on her achievements as an actress, and as a woman who mastered the studio system with a rare combination of grit, determination, beauty, and talent.

Crawford’s remarkable forty-five-year motion picture career is one of the industry’s longest. Signing her first contract in 1925, she was crowned an MGM star four years later and by the mid-1930s was the most popular actress in America. In the early 1940s, Crawford’s risky decision to move to Warner Bros. was rewarded with an Oscar for Mildred Pierce. This triumph launched a series of film noir classics. In her fourth decade she teamed with rival Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, proving that Crawford, whose career had begun by defining big-screen glamour, had matured into a superb dramatic actress.

Her last film was released in 1970, and two years later she made a final television appearance, forty-seven years after walking through the MGM gate for the first time. Crawford made a successful transition into business during her later years, notably in her long association with Pepsi-Cola as a board member and the brand’s leading ambassador.

Overlooked in previous biographies has been Crawford’s fierce resolve in creating and then maintaining her star persona. She let neither her age nor the passing of time block her unrivaled ambition, and she continually reimagined herself, noting once that, for the right part, she would play Wally Beery’s grandmother. But she was always the consummate star, and at the time of her death in 1977, she was a motion picture legend and a twentieth-century icon.


Registration is closed for this event.