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In a beautiful, Georgia mansion, the home’s matriarch, Eva (Joan Crawford, Grand Hotel), rules with an iron fist. Whether it‘s domineering her alcoholic husband, Avery (Barry Sullivan, The Tall Man), or preventing Carol (Betsy Palmer, Friday the 13th, 1980) from marrying Judson (John Ireland, All the King’s Men, 1949), Eva controls everyone around her. But when a cousin, Jennifer (Lucy Marlow, A Star Is Born, 1954), comes into town and develops a bond with Avery, Eva wants to take control of the situation again — leading to dark choices.
"Any man's my man if I want it that way." The speaker could only be Joan Crawford, as a wicked man-eater terrorizing her Deep South household in Queen Bee. Crawford's the whole show in this campy 1955 melodrama, which aspires to be second-rate Lillian Hellman but doesn't even reach that level. Having trapped a wealthy Southerner (Barry Sullivan) into marriage, Crawford takes her main pleasure in making life miserable for the other women of the mansion. This is fun to watch for a while, but director Ranald MacDougall (he wrote Mildred Pierce for Crawford) can't get the pace moving, and the final comeuppance is all too predictable. Crawford was going into her final high-diva phase at this point in her career, all chalky makeup and yard-long eyebrows, and Queen Bee clearly points the way toward What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Star power prevails, however, and at least the picture summons up its share of unintentional laughs. --Robert HortonSee all Editorial Reviews
- Talent files: Ranald MacDougall, Joan Crawford, John Ireland, Fay Wray
- Vintage advertising
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Joan Crawford lets the venom flow with her masterly performance as Eva, the queen bee of the title. Dressed in some gorgeous Jean Louis gowns and filtered through soft lighting, "La Crawford" commands the screen in every possible way. Notice too, how her voice changes from soft and honeyed when Eva is trying to get what she wants, to gruff and unforgiving when her temper snaps. The brilliant supporting cast includes Betsy Palmer as ill-fated cousin Carol-Lee, and Fay Wray as the jilted Sue McKinnon. Contract player Lucy Marlow, in one of her first lead roles, provides the innocent core of the story, yet our eyes remain riveted to Crawford. She was the ultimate Queen Bee!
The DVD includes the trailer plus talent profiles and vintage advertising gallery. (Single-sided, single-layer disc).
Here Joan poses on steps and then descends, says things to people that render them speechless, powerless, and (on occasion) lifeless.
She sweeps things off mantle pieces with a riding crop, steps on plans others have for a new house, scars her husbad(before the film opens) and calls him "Beauty." Joan flirts with the doctor caring for her sick child, and enslaves an in-law, dominates a niece and makes everyone serve her in some capacity that takes up most of their lives. The finale is surreal and surefire entertainment.
Sometimes hilarious, always camp in the extreme, and yet you cannot take your eyes off Joan as she buzzes through lives and stings them to death.
Buy this one and thrill to the extrvagant things within the DVD's chapters.