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Queen Bee

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Queen Bee Joan Crawford, Barry Sullivan (1955, Columbia TriStar, B&W, unrated, $19.95) Still acting as if she were in silent movies, every mannerism magnified into high drama, Crawford plays a matriarch who rules a Southern mansion and an alcoholic husband (Sullivan), managing to wreck nearly every life around her. In this film from Crawford’s waning years, she is covetous, conniving, completely narcissistic, grandly willful, vindictive, and generally so mean that people, appalled, can respond only by gasping or falling silent. This is Queen Bee‘s first time on video, and it was worth the wait — this hive really hops. B+

— Lawrence O’Toole