Joan Crawford in Space!

A discussion on Attack of the Clones at Virtual Views got me thinking about the connection between Joan Crawford and Attack of the Clones. Anyone reading this is probably scratching his or her head, but think about it.

1. Padme has no less than fifteen! different outfits and hairstyles in the movie, which she dons regardless of the appropriateness of the moment, so the end result is like watching Crawford in Female on the Beach.

2. We have Natalie Portman as an extremely implausible Senator–kind of like watching Joan Crawford or Kay Francis playing a brain surgeon.

3. Star-crossed lovers who do manage to have a “Happy Interlude,” complete with pleasant colors, flowers, and good times. You know, it’s that sequence in the middle of the movie where the action pretty much stops dead as the two young lovers go riding, to the carnival, walking through the field, and so on. I suppose we should just be grateful George didn’t have them sing.

4. Hayden Christensen delivering that painful, pathetic, soulful dialogue in the mode of a buff George Brent. Although maybe I’m being too hard on the late Mr. Brent. I think he could have given Mr. Christensen some tips on selling that schmaltz.

5. Padme/Joan consoling Anakin/George after he’s revealed that he’s done some really horrible things, with that wonderful illogical moral relativism of the women’s picture. “Darling, I’m sure you didn’t mean to do it. It’s all right. Our love can conquer anything” (said shortly before we learn that the leading man has gone beyond the pale of what the Production Code allowed.

So in short, here’s George Lucas hell-bent on recreating the Saturday morning serial of yore, and instead he has recreated a Joan Crawford movie.

Go figure.

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