Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest: Don't fuck with her, fellas!
No one plays a legendary movie star like another movie star–I mean, they really know how it’s done, or at least they’re willing to trot out their best mannerisms and try.
Here are some of the most memorable examples (some because they’re brilliant, others because they’re glittery trash) of filmland’s favorite self-reflexive genre.
Carroll Baker in "Harlow." Delectable garbaggio, the way only Hollywood knows how to do it.
Carol Lynley as "Harlow." Ditto.
Gwen Stefani as Harlow in The Aviator. Finally, someone not named Carol.
Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner in The Aviator. I don't think so!
Cate Blanchett as the butch Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator. Blanchett won the Oscar, some say because they wanted to give another one to Hepburn.
James Brolin and Jill Clayburgh as Gable and Lombard. I kid you not. Game actors, rotten script.
Errol Flynn and Dorothy Malone as John and Diana Barrymore, "Too Much Too Soon." Too little too late, but the movie is trashy fun and Flynn is actually brilliant in it.
Jerry Lacy's Bogie haunts Woody Allen in "Play it Again Sam"
Kirsten Dunst as Marion Davies in The Cat's Meow. Purrr-fect.
Michelle Williams in "My Week With Marilyn." She was Oscar nominated for playing a legend who was never Oscar nominated.
Kenneth Branaugh was nominated for playing Olivier in the same film.
And Julia Ormond was his wife, Vivien Leigh. Well, at least they didn't get Kate Beckinsale.
Robert Downey Jr. as Chaplin--the original Iron Man.
In Garbo Talks, Betty Comden played Greta (shown in a floppy hat, from behind). There are no stills, so I've included Betty's head shot. And by the way, I make a cameo in the film. And wasn't nominated.
Rod Steiger and Valerie Perrine. Valerie played "Me." Said Leonard Maltin: "Has little relation to the truth, but still entertaining." Like practically every movie on this list.