If you follow me on any kind of social media, you’ll know that my summer has been spent listening to the wonderful podcast You Must Remember This. There are few reasons for this- my long-term obsession with early Hollywood, the fact it’s a standout podcast, and that I’m attempting to write a novel set in 1930s Hollywood (more on this as we get towards NaNoWriMo in a few days…) The podcast is presented in series and the two that I’ve enjoyed most have been the MGM Stories (with a standalone episode on my beloved Jean Harlow) and Six Degrees of Joan Crawford, another of my favourite actresses. One of the best things though, is that it’s led me to discover-or rediscover- a load of old films that not very many people remember these days.
With this in mind, my friend Jan- also a huge Old Hollywood obsessive- has lent me a TON of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford DVDs, mainly spanning the 30s and 40s. I’ve been fascinated by these two actresses ever since I read The Divine Feud when I was fifteen; the book looks at the supposed feud the two women had that culminated in the shrill classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (Very recently parodied on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars by Alaska and Alyssa Edwards. RPDR is actually full of references to old Hollywood starlets- this last season alone also referenced Mae West and Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford in the glorified B-movie, Mommie Dearest. Which I also watched recently as a result of You Must Remember This.)
So here’s the thing. I will be watching these films and reviewing them on here. If you want to watch along and discuss, I’ll be telling you the next film in my odyssey. They will mostly be in chronological order and, to start with, will mostly be Davis and Crawford films. I can’t say how often I’ll get round to each film (life, an almost four-year-old and everything else will probably get in the way occasionally!), but I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.