John meets Joan in Humouresque

Phony, faux-sophisticated, mannered, intense, camp: all reasons why so many love Joan Crawford films of this period.

Joan, wearing a fabulous diamanté dress, squints through her glasses at all the talent and vitality John Garfield is displaying. She smokes. She drinks. She assesses his possibilities as a talent and as a bedmate. She’s dazzled. The goblets she drinks from keep getting bigger. She drinks some more. Throughout the faux-sophisticated bon mots keep on coming:

‘With all that talent he’ll probably end up in jail’

‘I make a stupid remark and you laugh: you’re stupid Teddy’

‘I’m constitutionally given to enthusiasm about nothing’

‘The genius needs a drink’

‘Here’s that rare animal a New Yorker from New York’

New York’s full of all kinds of animals’

‘I’m very difficult to insult

Bad manner, the infallible sign of tact’’

‘He’s a friend of mine: I’m sure he’s not welcome here’


It isn’t long before the gold cigarette cases start rolling in.




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