She Was Consistently Joan Crawford, Star
By George Cukor
The New York Times, May 22nd, 1977
(Cukor also read these words at Joan's June 24, 1977, Hollywood tribute.)
"She was the perfect image of the movie star and, as such, largely the creation of her own indomitable will. She had, of course, very remarkable material to work with: a quick native intelligence, tremendous animal vitality, a lovely figure and, above all, her face, that extraordinary sculptural construction of lines and planes, finely chiseled like the mask of some classical divinity from fifth-century Greece. It caught the light superbly, so that you could photograph her from any angle, and the face moved beautifully."
"Including her love affair with the camera. In the days before zoom lenses and advanced electronics, cameras often had to be mounted on great cumbersome cranes, maneuvered by as many as twelve men, and close-ups might well require all this to be pushed from extreme long shots to within a few inches of an actor's face. Many found it difficult to overcome some understandable nervousness as this juggernaut ground closer and closer. Not Joan Crawford. The nearer the camera, the more tender and yielding she became---her eyes glistening, her lips avid in ecstatic acceptance. The camera saw, I suspect, a side of her that no flesh-and-blood lover ever saw."
(read the full article at http://www.joancrawfordbest.com/cukortribute.htm)