Joan Crawford ended her career with a flop, not a bang

Trog follows Dr. Brockton (Crawford), a respected anthropologist who discovers a caveman (Joe Cornelius) in Britain. Brockton names him “Trog” and brings him back to her lab, where she uses hypnosis to restore his ancient memories and enable him to speak.


While it may seem like the perfect setting for a B-movie, Trog is a tedious job. Crawford delivers a purposeful performance that elevates the hack to camp territory, but the story is still marred by absurdities. This is the type of movie where the character Crawford uses classical music and baby dolls to tame her troglodyte friend.

Crawford was brought to work on “Trog” by the promise of significant creative control over production. In an interview with TelegraphKim Barton, who played Crawford’s daughter in Trog, explained that Crawford enjoyed the film because she had “full creative control and could say ‘I don’t think so’ when she wanted” that she occasionally did some takes of the Oscar-winning directed by Freddie Francis.

While Crawford may have just seen Trog as a business venture she financed, she still exuded positive energy and professionalism while filming. But even Crawford, who had three Oscar nominations and one Oscar win when Trog premiered, couldn’t save the film from his own ineptitude.


The film was a box office failure (via The Telegraph) and was withdrawn. gloomy reviews. Roger Ebert noted that the scene in which Crawford calls for his pet troglodyte “transcends absurdity, as does this movie.” New York Times stated that while the film shows “Crawford working grimly at his craft”, she has “nothing else to do” in this dull and humorless film.


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