Starring Joan Crawford

Starring Joan Crawford

26 Episodes

Like the ambitious, upwardly mobile working women she became famous for portraying, Joan Crawford forged one of the longest-lasting and brightest-burning careers of Hollywood’s golden age through her fierce determination, dedication to her craft, and remarkable ability to continually reinvent herself. Rising through the ranks of MGM, she went from Jazz Age flapper ingenue (OUR DANCING DAUGHTERS) to emblem of Depression-era tenacity (DANCING LADY, SADIE MCKEE) to A-list diva (THE WOMEN) to, by the early 1940s, so-called “box-office poison.” The first of multiple career comebacks ensued with her ferocious, Academy Award–winning turn in the stone-cold noir classic MILDRED PIERCE, leading to a second life as a melodrama queen in films like HUMORESQUE, POSSESSED, and AUTUMN LEAVES. And when it once again seemed like her career might fade away, the indomitable Crawford transformed herself into a 1960s horror grande dame in the gothic camp classic WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? A commanding screen presence whose steely veneer and concentrated intensity could give way to tender vulnerability, Crawford endures as one of the most complex and endlessly fascinating icons of the studio era—a star in every sense of the word whose larger-than-life legend has only grown with time.

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Starring Joan Crawford
  • Joan Crawford Teaser

    Episode 1

  • The Unknown

    Episode 2

    Directed by Tod Browning • 1927 • United States
    Starring Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Joan Crawford

    Master of the macabre Tod Browning directs “Man of a Thousand Faces” Lon Chaney in one of the actor’s most startling transformations. He stars as Alonzo the Armless, a knife thrower in a carnival sid...

  • Our Dancing Daughters

    Episode 3

    Directed by Harry Beaumont • 1928 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Johnny Mack Brown, Nils Asther

    In this classic of Jazz Age vivacity, Joan Crawford stripped to her teddy and tore into a Charleston powered by a zillion watts of sexual energy—and shocked the corsets and cravats off parent...

  • Our Modern Maidens

    Episode 4

    Directed by Jack Conway • 1929 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Rod La Rocque, Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    With kohl-rimmed eyes and rouged lips, flapper fatale Billie Brown (Joan Crawford) demands to live life on her terms, not society’s. So she brazenly vamps a handsome diplomat (Rod La Rocqu...

  • Possessed

    Episode 5

    Directed by Clarence Brown • 1931 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Wallace Ford

    Greed, ambition, politics, and sex collide in this pre-Code scorcher. Cynical Marian Martin (Joan Crawford) believes she can have a life without marriage when she moves from a small town to New Yo...

  • Grand Hotel

    Episode 6

    Directed by Edmund Goulding • 1932 • United States
    Starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford

    In the 1930s, MGM was home, as the studio itself put it, to “more stars than there are in heaven”—and they all aligned for this pinnacle of dream-factory glitz. In a single day in Berlin’s Gran...

  • Dancing Lady

    Episode 7

    Directed by Robert Z. Leonard • 1933 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone

    A struggling chorine (Joan Crawford) needs a little help with her hoofing, so her dance director (Clark Gable) gets an idea. “Do you feel like going through that opening number with Mr. Astair...

  • Sadie McKee

    Episode 8

    Directed by Clarence Brown • 1934 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Gene Raymond, Franchot Tone

    One of the quintessential working-girl vehicles Joan Crawford starred in throughout the 1930s, SADIE MCKEE follows the fortunes of the eponymous heroine, who trades in her maid’s uniform for bla...

  • Love on the Run

    Episode 9

    Directed by W. S. Van Dyke • 1936 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone

    The megawatt star power of Clark Gable and Joan Crawford lights up the screen in this madcap romantic screwball peppered with a dash of international intrigue. In Europe to cover a society weddin...

  • Mannequin
    Episode 10


    Episode 10

    Directed by Frank Borzage • 1937 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracy, Alan Curtis

    She’s the screen’s iconic working girl. He’s the screen’s legendary everyman. And MANNEQUIN is the only celluloid collaboration of film greats Joan Crawford and Spencer Tracy. Melodrama expert Fra...

  • The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

    Episode 11

    Directed by Richard Boleslawski, Dorothy Arzner, George Fitzmaurice • 1937 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, William Powell, Robert Montgomery

    Joan Crawford, William Powell, and Robert Montgomery shine in this sparkling drawing-room comedy. When wealthy American widow Fay Cheyney (Crawford...

  • The Women
    Episode 12

    The Women

    Episode 12

    Directed by George Cukor • 1939 • United States
    Starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell

    The memorable bon mots and caustic one-liners fly fast and furious in this delightfully acidic tale of gossiping, backstabbing, and romantic rivalry amongst a coterie of high-society women....

  • Strange Cargo

    Episode 13

    Directed by Frank Borzage • 1940 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Peter Lorre

    Joan Crawford and Clark Gable were paired on-screen for the eighth and final time in this unique, mystic exploration of both carnal and spiritual love from Hollywood’s supreme romanticist Frank Borz...

  • A Woman's Face

    Episode 14

    Directed by George Cukor • 1941 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Melvyn Douglas, Conrad Veidt

    This expressionistically stylized melodrama features one of Joan Crawford’s finest performances, as a criminal whose facial disfigurement has rendered her a deeply bitter social outcast. When...

  • Above Suspicion

    Episode 15

    Directed by Richard Thorpe • 1943 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Fred MacMurray, Conrad Veidt

    Based on a novel by espionage writer Helen MacInnes, Joan Crawford’s last film at her longtime home studio of MGM before her second-act career renaissance at Warner Bros. casts her and Fred Mac...

  • Mildred Pierce

    Episode 16

    Directed by Michael Curtiz • 1945 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth

    Melodrama casts noirish shadows in this portrait of maternal sacrifice from Hollywood master Michael Curtiz. Its iconic performance by Joan Crawford as Mildred, a single mother hell-bent on freeing her children f...

  • Humoresque

    Episode 17

    Directed by Jean Negulesco • 1946 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, John Garfield, Oscar Levant

    Glamorous socialite Helen Wright (Joan Crawford) takes what she wants—clothes, alcohol, men—uses them up, and tosses them aside. Then she meets brilliant young violinist Paul Boray (John Garfiel...

  • Possessed
    Episode 18


    Episode 18

    Directed by Curtis Bernhardt • 1947 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Van Heflin, Raymond Massey

    Following her triumphant comeback in MILDRED PIERCE, Joan Crawford reteamed with producer Jerry Wald for this moody psychological noir-melodrama. Found wandering the streets of Los Angeles unab...

  • Harriet Craig

    Episode 19

    Directed by Vincent Sherman • 1950 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Wendell Corey, Lucile Watson

    The third screen adaptation of George Kelly’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play CRAIG’S WIFE is a scintillating showcase for Joan Crawford at her commanding, high-melodrama best. She plays the domin...

  • The Damned Don’t Cry

    Episode 20

    Directed by Vincent Sherman • 1950 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, David Brian, Steve Cochran

    In the first of her three collaborations with director Vincent Sherman, Joan Crawford brings commanding presence and hard-boiled glamour to her portrayal of a woman who uses and abandons men to ...

  • Sudden Fear

    Episode 21

    Directed by David Miller • 1952 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame

    Joan Crawford makes the tension palpable in this precision-crafted thriller. She stars as wealthy, successful playwright Myra Hudson, who gets a shock when she discovers that not only has her act...

  • Queen Bee
    Episode 22

    Queen Bee

    Episode 22

    Directed by Ranald MacDougall • 1955 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Betsy Palmer

    Joan Crawford delivers a ferocious performance in this scorching domestic melodrama. She stars as Eva Phillips, a Southern socialite who, though she appears to be the epitome of grace and char...

  • Autumn Leaves

    Episode 23

    Directed by Robert Aldrich • 1956 • United States
    Starring Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles

    Six years before WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, Joan Crawford partnered with director Robert Aldrich for this delirious psychological melodrama. The director brings his edgy, Gothic sensibili...

  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?

    Episode 24

    Directed by Robert Aldrich • 1962 • United States
    Starring Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Victor Buono

    Two icons of Hollywood’s golden age, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, take their famous feud on-screen in Robert Aldrich’s no-holds-barred classic of Grande Dame Guignol. In fierce, fearless perform...