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Kyle Kersten was a true friend of TCM. One of the first and most active participants of the Message Boards, “Kyle in Hollywood” (aka, hlywdkjk) demonstrated a depth of knowledge and largesse of spirit that made him one of the most popular and respected voices in these forums. This thread is a living memorial to his life and love of movies, which remain with us still.

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Bette and Joan


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#21 Swithin

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:27 AM

Despite my stated love for Bette Davis and her movies, I'm not particularly fond of All About EveI did see Lauren Bacall in the musical/stage version many years ago (Applause, 1970), which I enjoyed.

 

I've just read that the great Dutch director Ivo van Hove will be adapting/directing a stage production of All About Eve in London, starring Cate Blanchett. I do hope to see that.

 

http://www.bbc.com/n...t-arts-39745417

 



#22 Princess of Tap

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 11:21 PM

Recently I had a chance to watch Bette Davis on This Is Your Life. I know I saw it in 1972, but at the time I didn't know so much of the history and the backstory of all the players. And of course, so much has happened in the meantime.

Miraculously the show started with Bette in a conference meeting with Robert Wagner and Edith Head, concerning a new movie she was going to make called Madame Sin.

Bette was pissedoff that Ralph Edwards was interrupting and she showed a great deal of irritation.

When they got her to the studio she was still pissedoff, but she changed on a dime when she saw William Wyler, the director who delivered her Jezebel Oscar.

The guests were just unbelievable--after her favorite director, she was treated to her best movie friend Olivia de Havilland, her sister, her stand-in, her famous impersonator, her first film editor, the wonderful Victor Buono--who was more entertaining impromptu than even in the movies-- and finally Paul Henreid, who of course lit two cigarettes for her, while they both made disparaging remarks about the director of Now Voyager.

What really impressed me was that these people looked and seemed just like any ordinary business professionals, who had gathered for a reunion. There was nothing particularly glamorous or unusual about them--that just made you realize how seriously they took their profession and how hard they must have worked at it.

And then you could see how Bette really enjoyed it. But I think it was beautiful to see how Bette really warmed up after she saw William Wyler.LOL
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#23 im4cinema2

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 02:53 PM

I knew a person who worked on the set with Joan Crawford as an extra before Joan did Baby Jane..  She was very professional and usually on time. She knew her lines and was well prepared.  When she entered the set there was always a flurry of adoring applause by cast and crew.  During her breaks she would put on big horn rimmed glasses and knit or read a big book.  Her lunches sometimes were tuna or egg salad with a bottle of Pepsi and some fruit, an orange or apple.  She made sure to say good morning to everyone sometimes shaking hands or give a kiss on the cheek if she knew you well.  I'd like to know if anyone else experience this the same or differently.



#24 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 12:42 PM

Good point.

 

(...and btw...I've just thought of a couple of others who are still with us and who were reenacted by younger actors...Rip Torn and Michael Parks...can you think of any others?...I'm talking actors btw, not any children of the two lead characters)

 

No, but i'm not the right person to ask since i missed a lot of episode 4 and all of eps 5, 6, and 7.



#25 Dargo

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 10:17 AM

i think the idea to have Faye present in absentia was the perfect way to handle it.

 

I mean, MY GOD, WHO ALIVE COULD PLAY HER?

 

Good point.

 

(...and btw...I've just thought of a couple of others who are still with us and who were reenacted by younger actors...Rip Torn and Michael Parks...can you think of any others?...I'm talking actors btw, not any children of the two lead characters)



#26 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 10:13 AM

Yeah, that was a good scene which helped humanized poor ol' Joan alright, Lorna.

 

Btw, and speaking of which...what with all the modern actors used to reenact all the actors of yore in this thing, I was a little surprised it didn't also have one playing Faye in that scene.

 

(...and thus making it the second person still among us...Olivia of course being the other)

 

i think the idea to have Faye present in absentia was the perfect way to handle it.

 

I mean, MY GOD, WHO ALIVE COULD PLAY HER?



#27 Dargo

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 10:11 AM

in the last episode (which i recommend even as a standalone even if you haven't seen the rest of the series) one of CRAWFORD'S other adopted daughters comes to visit in the late 70's and Joan mentions that her publisher has offered to let her read the galleys of the book X-TINA has written and she declined.

 

"I didn't want to read...awful things..."

 

a very touching scene follows between Joan and her other daughter that Lange aces and it might be the high point of the series.

 

throughout the episode, there was a very clever use of foreshadowing to hint at "things to come," Faye Dunaway's Presence is a character in a hilarious scene (one of the onlyI liked from Sarandon) where Bette has a hissy fit on a church set while fiming a TV Movie about Aimee Sample McPherson with a tardy Faye in the 70's.

 

delish.

 

Yeah, that was a good scene which helped humanized poor ol' Joan alright, Lorna.

 

Btw, and speaking of which...what with all the modern actors used to reenact all the actors of yore in this thing, I was a little surprised it didn't also have one playing Faye in that scene.

 

(...and thus making it the second person still among us...Olivia of course being the other)


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#28 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 09:57 AM

Haven't seen it. Do they address the Mommie Dearest allegations at all? Ignore them? Dispute them? What?

 

in the last episode (which i recommend even as a standalone even if you haven't seen the rest of the series) one of CRAWFORD'S other adopted daughters comes to visit in the late 70's and Joan mentions that her publisher has offered to let her read the galleys of the book X-TINA has written and she declined.

 

"I didn't want to read...awful things..."

 

a very touching scene follows between Joan and her other daughter that Lange aces and it might be the high point of the series.

 

throughout the episode, there was a very clever use of foreshadowing to hint at "things to come," Faye Dunaway's Presence is a character in a hilarious scene (one of the onlyI liked from Sarandon) where Bette has a hissy fit on a church set while fiming a TV Movie about Aimee Sample McPherson with a tardy Faye in the 70's.

 

delish.



#29 sewhite2000

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 09:42 AM

Haven't seen it. Do they address the Mommie Dearest allegations at all? Ignore them? Dispute them? What?



#30 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 08:04 AM

I did not like some of the overly frequent "f" bombs, some seemed appropriate like with Jack Warner's tirades or Bette and Joan in private some times. It seemed forced when Geraldine Page gets a call from Joan and exclaims "It's Joan effing Crawford" (really?). Also in the last episode Joan uses it to a Baby Jane fan at a book signing. From what I have heard she was always nice to all her fans, this seemed unbelievable,

 

They also took great liberties with Victor Buono, he was a fine actor and I was always curious about him. This show did not help because from what I have read, he never came out as gay in his lifetime, Yet they have him admitting it to Bette when they first met?! That seemed ridiculous.

 

 

YES!



#31 Hibi

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 05:44 PM

Yes, I cant imagine Joan treating any of her fans like that. She was devoted to them. I also didnt care how they depicted Victor Buono. Really tacky.


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#32 Det Jim McLeod

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 04:29 PM

Now that I've seen all the episodes, I will give my thoughts:

 

Some good things were that Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange were better than I expected in title roles, they wisely decided not to do voice imitations but captured their body language very well (especially Bette with hands on hips).I also thought Alfred Molina was well cast, he gave the best performance in my opinion. There were some fun re creations of not only Baby Jane but also Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte as well as a Crawford appearance for her Strait Jacket film.

 

I did not like some of the overly frequent "f" bombs, some seemed appropriate like with Jack Warner's tirades or Bette and Joan in private some times. It seemed forced when Geraldine Page gets a call from Joan and exclaims "It's Joan effing Crawford" (really?). Also in the last episode Joan uses it to a Baby Jane fan at a book signing. From what I have heard she was always nice to all her fans, this seemed unbelievable,

 

They also took great liberties with Victor Buono, he was a fine actor and I was always curious about him. This show did not help because from what I have read, he never came out as gay in his lifetime, Yet they have him admitting it to Bette when they first met?! That seemed ridiculous.


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#33 GGGGerald

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 04:07 PM

well...no....

 

BUT:

 

I have enjoyed this thread immensely AND as a result of all the raves, I did go and watch the final episode yesterday evening ON DEMAND and I agreed, it was excellent. A FIRST RATE PERFORMANCE from Jessica Lange (although she's still not ENTIRELY giving me CRAWFORD but she's so good in all other respects, I forgive it), and a better script that did not seem SO CONSUMED with "laundry listing" the facts and history to where it come across as a book report.

 

The scene between Crawford and one of her adopted daughters having a visit in her NYC apartment as the kids skid around on the floor with Joan's approval (a detail I actually recall from a documentary I saw on Crawford!) was excellent.


No, of the two, Lange is the clear winner, and I'm none too surprised at the shift in focus near the end of the series.

 

 

a really good slate article about how the show ended on a high note
 

"FEUD WAS RIGHT TO FORSAKE BETTE FOR JOAN"

 

http://www.slate.com...n_crawford.html

 

I also agree with the article in that to only focus on the feud would have gotten boring fast. Also, there are certain fans of the two actresses later work who expect a little camp. The last episode showed a little of that.

 

But, to take it to their lives, mostly Joan's, made for a a fuller series. I liked that the production (sort of, in a way) gave Joan's possible side of the Mommie Dearest allegations. And the little bit about "Joan would have wanted Faye Dunaway to play her in a film" :lol: was cute.

 

Interesting how those two fought and competed for so long yet, had so much in common. Probably too much in common. Even that they were both Aries (if you're into that sort of thing) played a factor. That's one advantage of a series, more time to develop characters. Especially if they are based on real people.


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#34 Hibi

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:19 PM

Yeah, take it from someone who wasn't a fan of the first 3 1/2 episodes – the final one is really worth sitting down & investing some time in

 

 

I saw the first 10 mins or so. Looked like something I should devote to watching in one sitting (which I couldnt do last night) Looking forward to it!



#35 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:09 PM

OK. Thanks. I will report back after my wknd watch!


Yeah, take it from someone who wasn't a fan of the first 3 1/2 episodes – the final one is really worth sitting down & investing some time in

#36 Hibi

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 01:03 PM

Yes although it's very Joan focused, Bette is certainly in it. Enjoy!

 

 

OK. Thanks. I will report back after my wknd watch!


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#37 LornaHansonForbes

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:27 PM

Are you saying you actually stayed with the series to the end ?

 

This is a project that definitely has to be seen in its entirety to really appreciate it. That was a very good article

 

well...no....

 

BUT:

 

I have enjoyed this thread immensely AND as a result of all the raves, I did go and watch the final episode yesterday evening ON DEMAND and I agreed, it was excellent. A FIRST RATE PERFORMANCE from Jessica Lange (although she's still not ENTIRELY giving me CRAWFORD but she's so good in all other respects, I forgive it), and a better script that did not seem SO CONSUMED with "laundry listing" the facts and history to where it come across as a book report.

 

The scene between Crawford and one of her adopted daughters having a visit in her NYC apartment as the kids skid around on the floor with Joan's approval (a detail I actually recall from a documentary I saw on Crawford!) was excellent.

 

the big, GLARING disappointment to me has been Sarandon's performance- aside from the occasional clipped word in her speech and gesture with her cigarette, SHE IS IN NO WAY GIVING ME BETTE DAVIS, BEYOND THAT- she's not even giving me a real character or an interesting performance. she also was physically not willing to get into the role, there were scenes SET IN THE SEVENTIES FOR GOD'S SAKE, where there was not a line or wrinkle on her face. She lookED fabulous, whereas Bette Davis at this time was starting to look like one of the Trees from THE WIZARD OF OZ. 

 

(I also don't recall any account of Bette being a redhead, CRAWFORD on the other hand, apparently was!)

 

No, of the two, Lange is the clear winner, and I'm none too surprised at the shift in focus near the end of the series.


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#38 Swithin

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:14 PM

Havent watched the last episode yet. (I started last night, but there wasnt time, what I saw looked good, but who knows how accurate it is) Is Bette in it at all?

 

I noticed Joan's My Way of Life book has been reissued on Amazon. Talk about OCD!!

 

Yes although it's very Joan focused, Bette is certainly in it. Enjoy!



#39 Hibi

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:47 AM

Havent watched the last episode yet. (I started last night, but there wasnt time, what I saw looked good, but who knows how accurate it is) Is Bette in it at all?

 

I noticed Joan's My Way of Life book has been reissued on Amazon. Talk about OCD!!


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#40 Swithin

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:38 PM

a really good slate article about how the show ended on a high note
 

"FEUD WAS RIGHT TO FORSAKE BETTE FOR JOAN"

 

http://www.slate.com...n_crawford.html

 

Very good article, thanks. I agree with much (though not all) of it. I think vulnerability is always better fodder for drama than strength, hence the emphasis on Joan. Bette was after all an Old Yankee -- she may have been slightly vulnerable at times, but not needy in the sense that Joan was. I remember seeing Bette on the Tonight Show, after her illness. She was still feisty, still very much in charge. She didn't seem to care that she bore the visible scars of her illness. She was a lively raconteur, about the past, and about the current state of Hollywood and acting.

 

In the end, though, I continue to be bowled over by the quality of the vast majority of Bette's films; and their diversity. There are many I can watch over and over again -- and do. I don't really know of any Joan Crawford movies that I can say that about. (Maybe I haven't seen enough Crawford films, which is certainly possible.)

 

But I loved Feud, from the beginning to the very last shot.


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