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Fierce: The Untameable Joan Crawford

August-October 2018

A two-month season revelling in the formidable and versatile Hollywood star.

Introduction by season programmer Anna Bogutskaya




“I love playing bitches. There’s a lot of bitch in every woman – a lot in every man”
Joan Crawford

Obsessive stalkers, robbers, cheaters, bullies, divas, murderesses, manipulative socialites; Joan Crawford has played them all. Throughout her career she thrived on roles of complicated and dislikeable women, pushing the envelope as her Hollywood clout grew – and then developing roles for herself when the offers started to dry up. In the latter part of her five-decade career she continued to reinvent herself, and developed partnerships with genre-friendly directors like Robert Aldrich and William Castle, becoming a late-career scream queen with Sudden Fear, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Strait-Jacket. In this final month of our retrospective, we pay tribute to some of Crawford’s boldest and baddest characters.


See Big Screen Classics, our Woman with a Movie Camera strand and a collections focus in the BFI Reuben Library.

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