LOUSY MOVIE TIME: Joan Crawford in “Torch Song” (1953)

Gah. Scene from "Torch Song"
Yikes!  Scene from “Torch Song”

Torch Song PosterLast night I watched the campy gay cult classic, “Torch Song” with Joan Crawford.  It was a color widescreen musical from 1953.  Why they made it is beyond me.  A TERRIBLE MOVIE.

My favorite scene, where the obnoxious blind guy calls Crawford a tramp:

Every scene Joan behaves like a nasty, entitled, neurotic bitch because she has no boyfriend and hasn’t been laid.  She has a weird, hair-sprayed stiff short hair-style, heavy on the eyebrow pencil, wears cinched waists, bullet bras, 3/4 sleeves and high necklines but showing off her legs at every opportunity.  She controls everyone, insults them and saunters around making everyone aware she is “the star” and they’re nobody.  And the writers had the audacity to think her evil character could fall in love with an obnoxious blind guy, whose seeing-eye dog growled and wanted to take a bite out of Crawford every time she came near. But at the movie’s end, desperate Joan went for the blind guy in their love/hate relationship.

“In preparation for her role in Torch Song, Crawford got a face-lift and had some work done on her breasts. She even wore a torpedo bra for the role and had her hair died bright red, to take advantage of the Technicolor photography. Unfortunately, this hardening of her look, coupled with the script’s “tough broad” dialogue, has made the film a particular favorite among comics and drag queens, who credit it as the source of Crawford’s latter-day image as a ‘mannish gorgon.'”  Writes TCM on Joan’s WEIRD BEHAVIOR on the set of “Torch Song” (a MUST-READ for fans).

She’s seen in her bedroom walking around in slutty high heels wearing pajamas and a bath robe.  She hates other women — and when she gives a party IT’S ALL MEN.  The worst thing was a trashy number called “Two Faced Woman” with 48-year-old Crawford doing a black face (see all the photos), USING ANOTHER SINGER’S VOICE!  Yeah, Crawford’s voice wasn’t up to par, so M-G-M dubbed Crawford’s voice with  TWO sincers: singer/actress Cyd Charisse and India Adams for the blackface scene, which is now being edited out by a lot of TV channels due to its offensive nature to African-Americans.  However, Turner Classic Movie Channel does not alter films.

Joan Crawford Black Face

If you think she was awful in this movie, just watch her in a low-budget western called, “Johnny Guitar” where, she essentially plays a MAN, and she’s a BITCH again, getting into a fight with another mannish-woman, Emma (Mercedes McCambridge (the foul voice of the Exorcist’s demon in the little girl)), who got into a fight with Crawford on this movie).