FEUD: Bette and Joan
Sarah: I am terrified of Joan Crawford.
My mother used to have me watch Mommie Dearest every time it was on TV. We never had wire hangers in our house & I don’t own a single one to this day.
Jessica: I think moms show their daughters this movie so they can prove how nice they are. That movie scarred me! I’ve never read the actual book her daughter wrote, but I need to.
Sarah: I’ve been stoked about FEUD: Bette and Joan for months! Ryan Murphy is a total genius & he continues to impress me with his ability to take on provocative subject matter & weave it into this beautiful & masterfully done film. Sunday, hurry up!
Jessica: I am so excited that this won’t be the only FEUD – the next will be about Charles and Diana. Of course I cannot get enough of these juicy tabloid stories!
To get ready for the show on Sunday both Sarah and I have been reading and watching movies. Mark and I watched What Ever Happened to Baby Jane and I could not believe that he had never seen it! Vanity Fair put out a good list of movies to watch before Sunday night.
Joan Crawford was born in San Antonio, Texas in the early 1900’s (there are disputes about the actual year). She grew up very poor, uneducated, and there are accounts of abuse. She forced her way into Hollywood with one MGM screenwriter saying “No one decided to make Joan Crawford a star. Joan Crawford became a star because Joan Crawford decided to become a star.” She originally starred in silent films but was able to make the transition to talkies, even though many others were note. There were many accounts that she slept her way to the top – with both men and women. Joan was married 4 times and adopted 5 children, two of which she disowned. Joan was nominated for 3 Academy Awards and won once, though she did accept an award for Anne Bancroft the year she beat Bette Davis….
Bette Davis had a very different upbringing. She was born in Massachusetts to a patent lawyer, went to boarding school, and was escorted to Hollywood with her mother. She was known for playing interesting roles instead of the traditional female parts. Like Joan, she was married 4 times. And everyone knows about those Bette Davis eyes! She was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, winning two. Ryan Murphy spoke to Entertainment Weekly & revealed he & Bette Davis corresponded by handwritten letters. How amazing is that? As an adult in L.A., he interviewed Davis & “She talked about how she had to give up everything to be a success in a way that a man never would.” That quote really stuck with me, as it undoubtedly rings true for women everywhere.
Jessica: It seems that the decades long feud between these two women started with a man – one that Joan Crawford was married to.
Sarah: You know what? I’m not totally sure how the feud began. I remember seeing something about them being in love with the same man, but he chose to marry Crawford. It didn’t help they were both competing for roles on the same lot.
Jessica: I cannot wait to see how these two ladies are portrayed by Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange. I have every confidence that these two women will slay these parts.
Sarah: For sure. We will be talking about FEUD again when it’s time for the Emmys & Golden Globes. I’m not even doing DVR for this show; I’ve got to watch it in real time. A statement from Ryan Murphy’s interview sticks with me. “They should have been friends. They should have been fighting the studio system and male patriarchy together. If they had just bonded and had a united front, they could have been so much happier, and got so much in return.”
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