Well, we continue our Joan Crawford talk this week with an actual film starring Joan Crawford, and not one merely about her. Yup, it's time for Hit Me With Your Best Shot! Now, much like last week's entree, this is pretty much camp fodder, but Johnny Guitar has a better reputation and a legit fanbase. I can't pretend that I'm part of it, as I find the film to be really messy, scattered, laughable and obnoxious, but Crawford is pretty incredible here (bringing such Faye Dunaway realness to the screen) and so for that I kind of appreciate this for what it is. What it is is a campy western with a fearless lead performance. What it isn't is a good movie.
But it's chuck full of amazing stills because Mercedes McCambridge is so all over the place and shamelessly hysterical in the most heightened of ways, and the painted backdrops are so...PAINTED...and Crawford strikes her movie star pose every single chance she gets...so chosing one shot was really hard.
And then this happened:
I just love this moment, this look, this framed in shot and how Crawford just breathes in the whole scene without even engaging the camera. Like, she's so engaging us without even engaging us, if that makes any sense. She's always so aware of the audience. I guess that's what made her a 'movie star', because I don't think we could really say she was an 'actress' (and this is not a diss to her talent at all, but there is a difference between an actress and a star). Crawford knew we were watching her, and so she always put on a show.