|"Because I Love Him:" Crawford|
General Electric Theater was hosted by future president Ronald Reagan. Joan Crawford appeared in three episodes of the dramatic series, which ran for nine seasons:
Joan's first appearance on GET was in 1954 in a story entitled "The Road to Edinburgh." In this she plays Mary, a determined newspaper columnist driving from London to Edinburgh who meets a stranger named Wickers (John Sutton of The Invisible Man Returns) when he comes out of nowhere to fix her flat tire. She gives him a lift, but gets understandably freaked out when he tells her he just got out of prison after eighteen years after murdering his wife's elderly aunt. Fearing for her life, Mary does her best to get help from a hitch-hiking U.S. soldier (Chuck Connors) and the police. Although suspenseful, the wind-up in this episode is especially stupid, and considering the things that Wickers told her about himself, her self-contempt over her unfounded suspicions are ridiculous. **.
|Strange Witness: Tom Tryon, Crawford|
Joan's final GET appearance was in 1959. "And One Was Loyal" takes place in the tropics where George Manson (Tom Helmore of Shadow on the Wall) asks if he can briefly enjoy the hospitality of Roger (Robert Douglas) and Ann (Crawford) Howard. Roger is a mean drunk whose tormenting actions resulted in Ann becoming mute. Her ability to speak comes back when Roger is murdered, and George begins to wonder about Ann's actions. Crawford looks radiantly beautiful and makes good use of her very expressive face in this story. **1/2.
In 1953 Joan also appeared in an episode of The Revlon Mirror Theater, in a story entitled "Because I Love Him." In this very weird and contrived bit of fiction, a doctor (William Ching) tells Margaret Hughes (Crawford) that her husband, David (I believe this was Philip Dorn), has only a year to live. She is importuned to keep it a secret, and do everything she can to help him achieve his potential in that year. Despite her devotion, however, David falls in love with a colleague, Ann (Virginia Gray). Now what? While the situation is intriguing, this has a final twist that makes virtually no sense at all. Crawford handles the dubious plot turns even better than expected, and is quite good. **1/2.