The Best of Everything
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All original Encyclopedia text, from A to Z, is copyright © 2004 - 2021 by Stephanie Jones
The Best of X
X-rated movie, The (alleged). Once Joan's brief chorus gig with Katherine Emerine in Springfield, Missouri, closed in 1923, she needed money to get to Chicago. According to the Jazz Baby bio, Joan made a brief "vignette" for a vending machine distributor named Lionel West. A friend of Joan's brother Hal, Greg Rhinelander, saw it later and said:
It wasn't a striptease and it wasn't lewd. She was just a brunette gal dancing naked... It was in the collection of the owner of Photomaton, a company that distributed those little mechanical peep shows. It was a Charleston-type twenties dance that couldn't have lasted more than a couple of minutes... This wasn't porno.
Other stories have floated around that there was a stag film with Joan called The Casting Couch. In his bio, author Thomas says that both Louis B. Mayer and MGM attorney Robert Rubin viewed the film and concluded that the actress was not Joan. Thomas also quotes Arthur Knight, a film historian for Playboy:
Playboy pays a lot of money to acquire pornographic films; you'd think that if a Joan Crawford stag reel existed, one would have been offered for sale. None has. Furthermore, I spent a week at the Kinsey Institute in Bloomington, Indiana, which has probably the largest collection of pornographic movies. I saw none with Joan Crawford. I don't believe such a film exists.
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