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Joan Crawford 1927

The beginning of 1927 was just as dramatic as the ending of 1926 for Joan. Five days into the New Year, Joan's beau Mike Cudahy ran off and married young actress Marie Astaire. Cudahy was jailed for marring the young actress and, once again, Cudahy's over protective mother stepped in to annul the marriage. Joan was out of the picture and never reunited with the young meat-packing heir! Instead, Joan was focusing on her career and ready to release her first of six films she appeared in 1927. On January 15th, Winners of the Wilderness was released. The period film featured Tim McCoy and showcased several fancy costumes - an early look into the fashion plate Joan would become on the big screen. 

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Joan released two pictures in February of 1927, The Taxi Dancer on February 5th and The Understanding Heart on February 26th. Both films were forgettable to the public at the time, but Joan showcased promise as an actress in The Taxi Dancer and was hoping her next film would showcase her as a credible actress. It took Joan four-months to release her next film and although four-months seems like a small lapse in time making films, silent pictures were cranked out in a few weeks and Joan's four-month absence from the big screen could have cost her a future in acting if her next film was a turkey. 

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Some herald Joan's 1927 performance in The Unknown as her finest silent picture. Joan was teamed up with acting legend Lon Chaney and classic horror director Tod Browning for this dramatic and bizarre film released on June 4th 1927. The result was a hit film and some acting lessons for Joan. Joan was quoted in saying that she learned more about acting from watching Chaney than from anything else in her long career. It showed. Joan showcased passion and versatility with her expressions and emotions in The Unknown. Joan was drawing from her difficult childhood to strum up those emotions that she displayed so magnificently on screen. MGM noticed they had a legitimate star on their hands and helped finance Joan's first home in July of 1927. For only 28,000, which transfers roughly into $350,000 today, Joan was living in her own home located at 513 Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills, California. After only being at MGM for two and a half years Joan's accomplishments were pretty impressive.

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Joan followed up her success with acting giant Lon Chaney with another big male star of the silent era, John Gilbert. Twelve Miles Out was released on July 9th 1927. The film was given favorable reviews and helped Joan build up her resume with noteworthy actors. Joan was off to film yet another film with a huge male actor and her best friend on the MGM lot, Billy Haines. Joan and Billy traveled to West Point, New York to film their forthcoming film West Point, which would be released in early 1928. During the filming, Joan and Billy were having a bit too much fun sleeping around with the West Point cadets - rumor has it a few men were discharged for frolicking with Crawford and possibly Haines! Joan and Billy also got into a minor car accident, read the piece below from the New York Times

WEST POINT, N.Y., Aug. 29, 1927 – Miss Joan Crawford and William Haines, motion picture stars, were shaken here today when the automobile in which they were riding was sideswiped by a motor truck near the West Point Military Academy reservation. Miss Crawford received slight bruises on the forehead and right knee. Mr. Haines was jarred. They returned to the Thayer Hotel at Highland Falls, where they have suites during the filming of a picture in which one of the barracks at the Military Academy is being featured, declining the services of a physician.

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After the drama at West Point was over for Crawford and Haines, they released Spring Fever on October 18th 1927. This would be Crawford's sixth film released in 1927 and her last for that year. The film was a classic comedic Haines performance and Joan knew that and was not expecting much praise for her supporting role in the film. A day before the release of Spring Fever, Joan attended a play at the Majestic Theater in Los Angeles called Young Woodley that featured Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Joan was accompanied by Paul Bern, MGM exec and early Joan-booster, who took Joan backstage to meet the dashing young actor hat Joan had become smitten with after seeing his performance. In traditional Crawford fashion, Joan sent him a telegram that very night praising Fairbanks performance. Fairbanks responded the next day with a phone call and the rest is history. On December 31st 1927, New Years Eve, Douglas Fairbanks proposed marriage to Joan Crawford.

Joan Crawford Photos 1927

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Joan Crawford Film Photos 1927

Joan Crawford appeared in six films in 1927.
To view each film in detail, click the thumbnails below.

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Winners of the Wilderness

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The Taxi Dancer

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The Understanding Heart

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The Unknown

 

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Twelve Miles Out

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Spring Fever

     

Joan Crawford Photo Gallery
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