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.