"... and Joan Crawford made the money to pay for both."

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ClassyCo, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    542
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +542
    Member Since:
    September 2013
    upload_2018-6-17_13-24-5.png

    What do you all say? Is this true? Was Crawford really the more popular among herself, Shearer, and Garbo? Did her films make more financially which led MGM to turn those profits into budgets used for the more prestigious movies Shearer and Garbo seem well-known for?

    I just came across this quote of Crawford's earlier today. Perhaps it isn't anything new to the rest of you, but it has me thinking about its accuracy.
     
  2. ginnyfan

    ginnyfan Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Serbia
    Ratings:
    +68
    I'm not sure, I guess for a true answer someone would have to look at all of their silent movies and 30s movies and do the match.

    I do think that in the mid 30s it was probably true. Joan was making loads of movies every year, paired up with Gable and other leading MGM men and all of those movies made good profits. Meanwhile Garbo and especially Norma were doing more prestige movies that had much bigger budgets and could not make a huge profit because of that. Norma bombed spectacularly with both Marie Antoinette and Romeo and Juliette and both of those cost a fortune.

    By the end of the decade, all 3 were declared ''box office poison'' and by 1943 they were gone from the studio. Greer Garson was the new queen of the lot, Lana Turner was the new blonde bombshell plus they got Katharine Hepburn for the comedies.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
    • Like Like x 1
  3. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,807
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Location:
    Sweden
    Ratings:
    +2,109
    Member Since:
    I dunno
    I'm assuming that they were willing to take more risks with Norma and Garbo, but also knew that Crawford would be there to pay the bills if those failed.

    All of them were huge money earners though.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    542
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +542
    Member Since:
    September 2013
    That would be the most precise way to found out something like this, but I don't quite think I want to dig into all of that. :) Crawford, I would say, always had the edge in popularity. In the late twenties, she was quite popular as flapper, or "jazz baby". Her pictures then made good profits, but maybe not quite as much as Shearer's, or particularly Garbo's.

    Throughout the thirties, as it seems, all three actresses had their niche. Shearer paraded through the classics, or films close to it literary wise, Garbo was grand and subtle, and Crawford was the rags-to-riches Cinderella. When considering the amount of films Crawford made compared to the relative small numbers put out by Shearer and Garbo during the same era, I'm sure her revenue was larger. Neither Shearer or Garbo appeared on Quigley's Top Ten Moneymaking Stars Poll after 1933 I don't believe, while Crawford was still placing seventh as late as 1936. Of course, they were all "box office poison" by the end of the decade, but it seems Crawford's films were still generating more money financially.

    I'd be willing to argue that Crawford's films were always more popular, financially speaking at least, than Shearer's or Garbo's.
     
  5. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    542
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +542
    Member Since:
    September 2013
    Certainly makes sense. Shearer being married to Irving Thalberg certainly didn't complicate matters. I'm sure she got the "better" movies whether she really deserved them or not. As for Garbo, well, she was Garbo. Grand and subtle. Other-worldly yet and unreachable. The audience loved her, and MGM knew how to market her.
     
  6. ginnyfan

    ginnyfan Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    38
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Serbia
    Ratings:
    +68
    Joan must have been pissed off by the situation though. While she enjoyed being paired with Gable, Tone, Montgomery and other leading MGM hunks, she would have probably enjoyed more a chance to sink her teeth into a meaty role like Marie Antoinette. I can imagine Joan in the role but do think Norma did a great job with it.

    While Joan idolized and respected Garbo and probably had no beef with her getting the big literature roles, it is well known she hated Norma and the special treatment she was getting. Well, at least we got the big showdown in The Women, which was a sort of a comeback for both Joan and Norma.

    Ah, to be a fly on the those MGM walls in the 30s..... So much drama!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    542
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +542
    Member Since:
    September 2013
    Oh, I'm sure she wasn't happy about it in the least. Crawford made many movies with MGM's top male leads, and now that I think of it, the same cannot be said for Garbo and Shearer. Sure, they made films with these guys on different occasions, but they usually The Star of their pictures, and it seems they (i.e. MGM or the ladies themselves) didn't have anyone they wanted they wished to possibly steal the limelight. I could be wrong, though.

    Yes, I've read that Crawford had a great admiration for Garbo, and that she was greatly disappointed that she didn't have any scenes with her in Grand Hotel. Her recall her referencing Garbo as "breathtaking," "marvelous," and "great," or other words to that effect.

    Her relationship with Shearer was the complete opposite. Apparently, she developed a dislike for Shearer when she doubled for her in Lady of the Night in 1925. Crawford rapidly gained acceptance as a certified A-list leading lady for MGM by the early 1930s, and she became increasingly annoyed that Shearer got the better scripts. Her answer to this was quite simple: "How can I compete with Norma? She sleeps with the boss!" Shearer's marriage to MGM production head Irving Thalberg certainly aided her in getting the roles she wanted, whether or not she was always the best actress for the job. This can be viewed in her career at MGM following Thalberg's death in 1936. She still had a few meaty roles afterwards, but nothing to the same caliber again.

    It stands to reason that Crawford was jealous of Shearer. I'm sure she realized that no one could parallel and play the Garbo's roles; nobody but Garbo, of course. From what I gather, however, Shearer's parts could have been played by a variety of different women, and one of those many faces waiting in the wings for one of her rejections was none of than Miss Joan Crawford. But she never got any of Shearer's hand-me-downs from what I have read.
     
  8. tommie

    tommie Soap Chat Dream Maker

    Message Count:
    1,807
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Location:
    Sweden
    Ratings:
    +2,109
    Member Since:
    I dunno
    To be fair, there was probably a very obvious reason why Joan never felt threatened by Garbo.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,565
    Trophy Points:
    4,329
    Location:
    Fletcher Sanitarium, Barcelona, Spain
    Ratings:
    +3,235
    Member Since:
    September 12, 2001 (poster formerly known as Pam's Twin Sister)
    upload_2018-6-18_21-26-36.jpeg

    Bette sends this with "love" (her address is "Heaven" above...)​
     
  10. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Well-Known Member

    Message Count:
    542
    Trophy Points:
    377
    Ratings:
    +542
    Member Since:
    September 2013
    Are you speaking in reference to Crawford's beauty, talent, or lack thereof?
     
  11. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    4,061
    Trophy Points:
    5,636
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +5,287
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    I'm not sure what tommie meant, but everybody -- even Norma Desmond -- respected Garbo.

    [​IMG]

    La Shearer was viewed by many as a cross-eyed ho.
     

Share This Page