Crawford was at M-G-M for a long time -- from 1925 (still the silent film era) to 1943 (WWII-era). She was smart about evolving her image, just as her great rival at the studio, Norma Shearer, was. They both intuited -- correctly -- that, if they stood still, audiences would tire of them. So, Crawford evolved out of her "great gal" Charleston dancer persona into, eventually, the more hard-boiled persona that let her slide effortlessly into Mildred Pierce when she moved over to Warner Brothers in 1945. And Shearer evolved out of her girl-next-door persona in silents into her free-living persona of the early talkies and, eventually, into her "classy lady" persona of the late-30s and early-40s.
The M-G-M MusicalWas: The Varsity Drag
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