Friday, November 9, 2012


Even though I’m not a huge Joan Crawford fan I still couldn‘t resist tuning in to the 1936 film The Gorgeous Hussy. How could I, with a cast that includes Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Franchot Tone, Melvyn Douglas, Jimmy Stewart and Beulah Bondi? It turned out to be a fun, frothy, energetic little historical tale about political scandals in Washington DC circa 1823.

Robert Taylor makes hay with Joan Crawford in The Gorgeous Hussy
The back drop of the film is about Andrew Jackson (Barrymore) and the scandals that plagued his election and his administration. At the center of the "Petticoat" storm and the films plot is the notorious and politically savvy inn keepers daughter Peggy O'Neal (Crawford). She is lusted after by Robert Taylor, Jimmy Stewart and Franchot Tone, but only has eyes for Melvyn Douglas. However, the fates are determined to keep them apart. Douglas, a states rights and secessionist proponent, is at odds with Barrymore and Crawford who believe in the preservation of the union. Meanwhile, Crawfords unwarranted reputation as a "hussy" causes her to be snubbed and harassed by DC society.  Barrymore, outraged at the mudslinging directed at Crawford, decides to take charge in his own rowdy fashion.

Joan Crawford only has eyes for Melvyn Douglas
No need to look for historical accuracy here, just a whole lot of fun, fine performances, soapy romance and a little political intrigue. If you’re still a little stressed from all the recent election rancor, then a little partisan free silver screen political fun to unwind with might just hit the spot. Turner Classic Movies is showing The Gorgeous Hussy this Sunday, November 11th at 6 AM Eastern. Set your dvr’s!

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