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Playwright/screenwriter David Berry (1943-2016)


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David Berry, whose play "The Whales of August" became a 1987 motion picture starring film greats Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price and Ann Sothern, has died at the age of 73. He passed away at his home in Brooklyn, N.Y. on December 16, 2016.


Berry adapted the film's screenplay, which revolves around the relationship between two elderly sisters (played by Gish and Davis) who customarily spend their summers together at a seaside residence in Maine. Sothern's performance in the picture earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress -- the only Oscar recognition she received during her long career.



Gish and Davis as elderly sisters in "The Whales of August" 


It was the final film for Gish (1893-1993) -- whose screen career began in 1912 -- and the swan songs for Sothern (1909-2001) and the British director Lindsay Anderson (1923-1994). It also was the penultimate film for Davis (1908-1989). Her final appearance was in "Wicked Stepmother" (1989), released eight months before she died. 


Turner Classic Movies aired "The Whales of August" in the early morning hours of Wednesday, December 28th as part of its TCM Spotlight: The Golden Years.



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  • 2 weeks later...

I've already written about this very melancholy picture. very sad on most levels, but a must see for any of us Hollywoods Golden Age Buffs. (***1/2-out of four)


& man, *Davis looked stunningly awful in it! 14yrs Lilian's age, but looked even older.


Leonard Maltin writes something like "A Lifetime of Movie Memories in Each Face" unquote


as you wrote Gish started in 1912 & ended it w/this film-(75yrs) I think Mickey holds the record for longest career though, very close-(l932-2006)-(I think "Night at the Museum" ($250m.) was his final appearance, so her record still-stands.


(LITTLE MORE FUN TRIVIA/FACTS: But off the topic, it was *Robin Williams highest grossing film. Barely over "Mrs. Doubtfire" (l993) ($219m.)

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