"I went to George Cukor a little hysterical, I didn't understand who I was playing." ~ Joan Crawford on her character
in "Susan and God."
"Susan and God" 1940
Cast: Joan Crawford~Fredric March~Ruth Hussey~John Carroll~Rita Hayworth~Nigel Bruce~Bruce Cabot~Rita Quigley~Rose Hobart~Constance
Collier~Gloria DeHaven~Richard O. Crane~Norman Mitchell~Marjorie Main.
Director: George Cukor
Costumes by Adrian
Box Office Figures for "Susan and God":
Cost: $N/A ~ Domestic Studio Gross: $N/A ~ Foreign Studio Gross: $N/A
Total: $N/A / Profit: $N/A
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.
Review: With "Susan and God," Joan Crawford is at the top of her game and gets to show a slightly darker, more
bitingly comedic side to her screen persona than she had previously (with the exception of "The Women"). She is
excellent at the rapid-fire, dizzying delivery of lines as shallow socialite Susan Trexel (a role Gertrude Lawrence played
on Broadway) who amazes and distresses her jaded set of friends when she returns from an extended trip to Europe and professes
to have found God. Crawford is delicious and hilarious as this gushy, dizzyingly frivolous minx with each biting line containing
the edge of sugar-coated cattiness that writer Anita Loos ("Gentlemen Prefer Blondes") is so gifted at. There's
a darkly wry, British sensibility to the wit as in Noel Coward and the inflections in Crawford's voice are perfect. Susan
proceeds to take care of the souls of her friends by meddling in their lives, particularly their romantic affairs. Meanwhile,
her own homelife is on the skids with husband taking to drink and daughter Blossom (Rita Quigley) neglected and shunted off
to camp. And clothes horse Susan (in Adrian gowns) is still consumed with the superficial, as when she surveys her country
home and says, "Oh, can't we have this redone or set a match to it or something?" Husband Barrie Trexel (Fredric
March) forces her into a compromise, whereby she will agree not to divorce him if he can promise not to drink and if the family
of three can live together for a summer at their country home.
"Susan and God" is loads of fun with the sharp script and great cast, including a young, radiantly beautiful
Rita Hayworth as Leonora Hutchins. (Hayworth was a goddess!) But the film is most alive when Crawford is on the screen; she
is the show and she's up to the task. SPOILERS. The last third when Susan is being cowed into the usual, MGM conversion to
nobility (and aren't women the ones always doing the atoning for so-called "selfishness?") is not as much fun; I
didn't want to see Susan become contrite. She was much more fun, skewering everyone left and right. But as Rosalind Russell
once said, MGM's answer to strong women was to have them in the boardroom in the beginning of the film and in tears in the
last frame, ready and willing to mend their ways. Does it matter? Crawford gave us the gutsy dame and that's what counts.
(Also: why was this a marriage that needed to be saved? Neither Crawford nor March seemed remotely suited or attracted to
one another and both had equally neglected their child -- the annoying, braces-on-the-teeth, fifteen-going-on-ten, impossibly
sweet Blossom, although this kid does provide interesting mother/daughter dynamics with Joan). There is also a fun musical
interlude and great, great work from character actor Marjorie Main as Susan's maid. All in all, a first-rate film and a refreshing
change of pace for Crawford.
Stars: 4 Stars
Review: This was the first Joan movie I ever saw. It was back in 1990. I was 12 and TNT still showed classic films(with
commercials). Anyhow, I was completely in awe of Joan (especially in that white suit). She gives knock-out performance and
is delightful. I would recommended this film to any Joan fan or classic movie goer.