Legendary Joan Crawford

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"Today We Live"

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~"I was extremely uncomfortable with a British accent."
~Joan Crawford on "Today We Live."~

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"Today We Live" 1933


Cast: Joan Crawford~Gary Cooper~Robert Young~Franchot Tone~Roscoe Karns~Louise Closser Hale~Rollo Llyod~Hilda Vaughn.

Director: Howard Hawks

Box Office Figures for "Today We Live"

Cost: $663K ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $590K ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $445K
Total: $1,035m. / LOSS: $23,000

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If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below. Thank you for your review on this film.

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How many stars would you give this film? Four being the best.
Your review/thoughts on "Today We Live":
  

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Reviews

Reviewer: writerdonna7

Stars: Four

"Today We Live" is one of my favorite Joan Crawford films, both romance and thrilling action picture replete with air battle sequences. As Diana "Ann" Boyce Smith, a young Englishwoman caught in a love triangle in World War I, never before or after would she look so stunningly beautiful; I actually gasped in several scenes at how sublime her beauty was -- it's almost painful. In the early and mid-30's, she was indeed at her apex in this regard and here in particular, she looks more beautiful in the trench coats than in her Adrian dresses, the starkness of the suits and peaked hats accentuating her exquisite face like a jewel against a black background. To compliment this loveliness, her performance is delicate, understated and fine. Although criminally underrated, Crawford was actually an extraordinarily talented actress and gifted at conveying emotional nuances and sincerity. She often manages to seem contemporary and natural when nothing around her is.

This Howard Hawks film is based on William Faulkner's short story "Turnabout" and concerns an American aviator Richard Bogard (Gary Cooper) who falls in love with Ann after coming to England in 1916 and renting her country home. She has just learned her father was killed in the war and he decides to go to war because of his love for her. While volunteering as a nurse, Ann locates her brother Ronnie (Franchot Tone) and fiancÚ Claude Hope (Robert Young), both lieutenants. Then she reads that Richard has been killed in the war and she marries Claude. But Richard is alive and returns to England and locates her in France. The war turns the fate of all three. The performances are strong in spite of dodgy British accents, Franchot Tone's accent particularly horrid and Crawford's the best. And, yes, there is an odd lack of pronouns -- oh, they surface occasionally, but for the most part, the actors are forced to talk in clipped shorthand. "Sister. Mine." (Tone indicating Ann). "See better now. See lots of things." (Young) "He was here. Left this. Will come again." (Crawford) For me, it achieved a kind of poetry and wasn't overly distracting, becoming part of the rhythm and peculiar beauty of the film. (But it is a little humorous, too.)

The bomber plane action sequences are surprisingly effective and exciting. The one squeamish part is the fact that Crawford handles a cockroach in one scene as Tone and Young look on eagerly, treating it as a plaything, and in later scenes, soldiers use cockroaches to duel the way some use chickens. It was most likely something that Faulkner himself experienced in the war, but did Crawford really handle a bug or was it a fake? Since Crawford and Tone were falling in love at the time, their scenes as brother and sister also have more heat than her scenes with the other two men and the "familial" kisses are quite amusing in their emotional intensity.

In all, one of Crawford's finest performances of the 30's and her peak of considerable beauty.

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If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below. Thank you for your review on this film.

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