Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Joan Crawford in Humoresque

Because Jean Negulesco’s Humoresque–aka, the one with Joan in glasses!–is as much an unheralded masterpiece as it is my favorite Joan Crawford movie, so why wouldn’t I give this gem a little more blog time?  Besides, if John Garfield’s Paul Boray can bring Joan Crawford’s Helen Wright to a state of transcendental sexual ecstasy just by playing Symphonie Espagnole on his violin (as is happening in the above image, if you couldn’t tell from the perfect visual metaphor of Joan’s glistening, parted lips), just imagine what his virtuosic playing will do to you.  (*SPOILER ALERT!*: It’ll blow your damn mind.)

Oh, and don’t hesitate to click to enlarge and appreciate the fabulousness of it all.

4 Responses

  1. Lovely. It’s hard to pick a favorite Joan movie (I’m also very fond of the second Possessed and, cliched as it is to admit this, Mildred Pierce). And it’s really like there are four iconic Joans–the silent star (only one of whose films I’ve seen), the (early) 30s shopgirl, 40s Joan and camp Joan from her later years. Can we compare or pick between them?

    That said, Humoresque is one of her finest films.


    • The second Possessed is a real winner as well, and Mildred Pierce is just a classic. I’ve only seen Dancing Lady from her ’30s output, which is less Joan-the-shopgirl and more Joan-the-dancer, but it’s pretty fantastic to see her and Gable together, and it’s of course impossible for me to not adore Joan in camp mode. That said, 40s martyr Joan will always be closest to my heart…though I suspect Letty Lynton might become a favorite simply on account of the 30s fashions!


  2. […] you can’t appreciate the Humoresque sweet without having to taste Humoresque sour, and because I can never get enough Joan […]


  3. You have to see Our Dancing Daughters! 20s Joan is pretty wonderful–not as great as 40s martyr, perhaps, but really compelling. I haven’t seen much early 30s Joan (just Paid and Grand Hotel) but I have it on excellent authority that she’s pretty amazing.


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