Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Well, Jerry is on his cruise (it was completely booked and we couldn't add me), and I'm on vacation a little bored. I went antiquing with Mom today and found an old Smith-Corona portable typewriter that I just had to have! I will post pics tomorrow along with some of my other finds/gifts from the past two weeks.
Since Jerry isn't around, I'm going to settle in and watch a movie. He'll watch old movies with me, but usually falls asleep lol, so I'm going to watch Mommie Dearest tonight. I've never seen it, can you believe that? For all the trivia I know about Joan Crawford, and I've never read the book, or seen the film.
I thought I would look up some behind the scenes or trivia information before I watch it, so here goes.
Enjoy your Wednesday night friends. Hope you are all doing well!
--The part of Joan Crawford was originally to have been played by Anne Bancroft, who left the project once the screenplay was completed.
--Contrary to urban legend, the scene in which Joan Crawford substitutes for her daughter Christina Crawford on the soap opera was NOT filmed on the Cunningham living room and kitchen set from "Happy Days" (1974).
--The first film to nearly "sweep" the Golden Raspberry Awards (or RAZZIES), with five "wins" (including Worst Picture and three out of four acting awards) from a then-record nine nominations.
--It was reported that in an interview that Joan Crawford said only Faye Dunaway had the talent and guts to be a true star.
--A month after the film was released to bad reviews, audiences flocked to see the film armed with Ajax and wire hangers to actively "participate" with the film in a manner similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975). Paramount seized on this new found notoriety and began to bill the film as a camp classic, with ads and posters proclaiming, "Meet the biggest MOTHER of them all!"
--Little love was lost between costume designer Irene Sharaff and Faye Dunaway. "Yes, you may enter Miss Dunaway's dressing room," Sharaff once said, "but first you most throw a raw steak in - to divert her attention."
--Faye Dunaway mentions in her autobiography that she screamed herself hoarse during the filming for the notorious wire hanger tantrum scene in this movie. She called Frank Sinatra for help, and he gave her some pointers on how to get her voice back into shape.
--The lobby cards issued for the film contain scenes from several sequences that were deleted from the final cut of the film, including: - Joan driving through the MGM lot in her car, apparently just before she visits L.B. Mayer & finds out she's fired. - Joan talking to young Christina on the beach. - Adult Christina talking to Joan while wearing the same dress she wears to the awards ceremony at the film's conclusion.
--The pressbook for the film goes into detail about several of the scenes, including one sequence that was cut from the film. Apparently they filmed an entire sequence where young Christina runs away from home and Joan goes out looking for her in her car. The classic cars that were necessary for the film caused a big stir in the neighborhood where the scene was filmed, and one of the people stopped in traffic so as not to ruin the scene was Barbra Streisand, who apparently spent time hanging out with Faye Dunaway between takes.
--Christina Crawford's book, on which this film was based, was one of the biggest-selling memoirs in the history of American publishing, with more than 4 million copies sold in hardback alone.
--According to Christina Crawford, there were several scenes in which the script had to make alterations for real-life events. For example, for the famous rose bush cutting scene Christina said that those manic occasions happened periodically due to no real cause. The producers wanted to use the scenes but had to write in that it was brought on by Joan being fired by MGM executive Louis B. Mayer. Also in reference to Joan helping the maid scrub the floor, Christina stated that Joan never cleaned floors that she could remember. Joan would make Christina or Christopher clean the floors while she supervised.
--Franco Zeffirelli was approached to direct the film, but Christina Crawford disliked his vision of Joan as a glamorous Hollywood martyr.
--Faye Dunaway truly felt she would win an Oscar for her performance as Joan Crawford. When the film was released to poor reviews and Paramount's promotion of the film as a camp classic she was furious. To this day she refuses to talk about the film. In fact, when she is interviewed she submits a list of topics that are off-limits to the interviewer, one of which is Mommie Dearest. She has been known to stop interviews if asked about the film.