Joan Crawford Liberates Paris

What's for breakfast, Pilgrim?

Joan Crawford teaches John Wayne how to take down Nazis.

The great thing about a Joan Crawford movie is that everything is about Joan Crawford.

Take the entertaining 1942 wartime drama, Reunion in France. Here, Joan battles Nazis with such conventional weaponry as perfectly coiffed hair and a fur coat with shoulders out to there.

Crawford plays a spoiled Parisian socialite livin’ the good life until the German army rolls into town. Once there, the Germans take over her house, her finances and her boyfriend (Philip Dorn).

Don’t get the wrong idea. This isn’t a movie about German occupation or the struggles of the French Resistance. This is about our Joan deciding that the Nazis are going down! We know this because, as she herself points out, she represents everything France was and is and could be.

O-kayyyyy, then. Now, if that weren’t enough – get this – our Joan actually rescues John Wayne (John Wayne!!) by smuggling him out of the country.

Clearly, the Germans have no idea with whom they’re dealing.

This is an interesting movie in many ways. Director Jules Dassin has added real footage of Paris at the time, including a shot of Adolf Hitler gawking at the Eiffel Tower.

A note about dialogue: Our Joan starts out with a dodgy British accent which begins to droop about eight minutes into the film. However! This is not an issue because we want to see Joan Crawford, not some actress struggling with a phony accent.

If you’re looking for a wartime drama with minimal violence and maximum fashion, make time to watch Reunion in France. Let our Joan inspire you to do something remarkable.

Reunion in France: starring Joan Crawford, John Wayne and Philip Dorn. Written by Jan Lustig, Marvin Borowsky, Marc Connelly. Directed by Jules Dassin. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, BW, 1942, 100 mins.

6 comments

  1. LOL! I love this….your writing style is perfect! “wartime drama with minimal violence and maximum fashion” – how could I pass that up? I’ve never seen this one, but I’ll look for it and have a look. Thanks for writing this!

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  2. I am an unabashed, no-holds-barred lover of Joan Crawford — and I have never seen this movie. I’m not sure why — maybe the wartime theme, maybe John Wayne . . . I don’t know. But you have made me want to see it now.

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  3. Not a big Joan fan, so I haven’t seen this one. Imagine John Wayne needing her to rescue him–what an odd pairing!

    BTW, congrats on winning entry into the CMBA.

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  4. I think I’ll have to see this, just to see Joan smuggles John Wayne out of the country. Well, that and “Joan’s conventional weaponry.” Hilarious! Thanks for making me smile, week after week!

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