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GGGGerald

Bette and Joan

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If they wanted older men for Audrey, they should have paired her with Robert Cummings, who took, like, 100 vitamins a day.

Which brings us to Dial M for Murder-- Ray Milland was far too old looking to be Grace Kelly's husband and Bob Cummings was certainly a better choice--if you had to be stuck with Bob Cummings. LOL

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I disagree about Fred Astaire. I didn't put him in that category because he doesn't belong in that category. Any man who can outdance a young girl who can dance with great youthful exuberance certainly has a right to be in a film with her as a romantic equal.

 

And Fred Astaire put up the same excellent performance opposite Leslie Caron.

 

Fred Astaire still had it and he proved it!

 

I agree with you about Fred;   Out of the 4 much older men Audrey Hepburn did films with (Bogie, Cooper,  Grant and Astaire),  Astaire gave off the most youthful energetic vibe even though he was the oldest of the 4.    Grant still had some pep in his step (but less than Fred) while Cooper appeared really worn-out (with Bogie slightly less so).

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If they wanted older men for Audrey, they should have paired her with Robert Cummings, who took, like, 100 vitamins a day.

 

 

They seemed to have helped. But he wasnt a big enough star in the 50s....

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Which brings us to Dial M for Murder-- Ray Milland was far too old looking to be Grace Kelly's husband and Bob Cummings was certainly a better choice--if you had to be stuck with Bob Cummings. LOL

My "creepy" Ray Milland role is opposite Gail Russell in The Uninvited.  I think she's just supposed to be a teen-ager or young adult, and he's definitely 40ish.  

 

And I don't care how many vitamins he took, Bob Cummings will never be sexy in my book.

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...and i don't really understand the point of Zeta-Jones and Bates as DeHaviland and Blondell as "narrators" of the piece; they're fine, mind you (Bates is visibly having a blast, and really does look a lot like Blondell did)- but so marginalized in the context of the show I don't see the need for either.

 

Once again, we have to remember. Most people watching this show have no idea who either of these women are. Except that they were actresses long ago in black and white movies. Lots of back story is necessary just to give the average viewer some concept of how these two got to this point.

 

 

When I was first starting to study classic film, I collected books like the films of Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Humphrey Bogart ect.

 

I would just cringe when I saw these old elderly looking men trying to make love to Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe or Doris Day-- just to name a few.

 

But it was just taken for granted that they could get away with that sort of thing because it was done in real life, I suppose.

 

But Audrey Hepburn looked ridiculous with both Gary Cooper and Humphrey Bogart.

And Gable looked like he was about to Simply Implode with age when he was Romancing Monroe in The Misfits.

 

This double standard also made the audience suffer.

 

The only time this "double standard" didn't exist is now. That age difference goes back to the middle ages and even before that. It wasn't shocking at all back then. Looks a bit odd today though. But, that's part of the magic of these films. To give a real view of how things were back then. And what was tolerated. 

 

A lot of plastic surgery.   

 

And a lot of cracks about her bad plastic surgery. So much so that she went into hiding for a bit. We just had a thread recently about interviewing the few classic actors still around while they are still around. That won't happen if all we're going to do is make fun of them.

 

No one looks as they did 30 years ago. A major subject of Bette and Joan. They don't need to be reminded of that. They look in the mirror everyday. Why not remind them of their glory days. And the entertainment they gave to us. That would be a better way of getting some of these people to make appearances.

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I think that there was a "mask-like" quality to Crawford's face in her later films, so that Lange's face has that appearance (whether due to plastic surgery or heavy make-up) doesn't really bother me.  While Crawford was a bit older than Davis, she always looked younger, and was known for her beauty regimens (and maybe she had some work done, too?).  Davis was a heavy smoker and not as vain about her looks, even to the point of taking risks of looking older and even ugly in many of her roles.  One thing I felt was inaccurate was the scene in Episode 2 where it was said that Bette rejected Mildred Pierce because she didn't want to play the mother of a teen-ager.  I find that extremely unlikely, since she had already played several older characters, such as Queen Elizabeth and Regina in The Little Foxes, or went through the extreme aging process in Mr. Skeffington.

 

I think Sarandon captures Davis' mannerisms and her authenticity (when not performing) very well.  The Yankee-ness comes through well, especially in her dress and her home.  I visited a museum in NH in the town where Davis built a home in the 40s (around the time of The Great Lie), where there were extensive photos of that home, and the set captures that New England look well.

 

I understand the use of Joan Blondell and Olivia deHavilland as "narrators," since both worked at Warners', and Olivia actually worked with Bette, and the women were good friends.  Bates sounds just like Blondell.  I'm not sure I'm wild about Catherine Zeta Jones as Olivia (too young, although she captures Olivia's mannered style of speaking).  An actress I would have liked to see in that role is British Actress Francesca Annis, whom I always thought bears a striking resemblance to Olivia, but she might be too old for the part by now.

 

Stanley Tucci as Jack Warner is perfect casting -- what a (fill in whatever rotten epithet you want)!  The misogyny and ageism is appalling and shown for what it is.  I liked the scene with Aldrich in bed with his wife, where she has some choice comments about what is being done to these women.

 

I'm  enjoying this series tremendously.  The dialogue is great.  Both my husband and I were laughing out loud at some of the barbs, which I'm afraid I can't repeat in this forum because they're kind of racy!

 

 

Yes, Crawford did have work done. Bette did have her (eye) bags removed,  and relied on that "instant facelift" that pulled the face back temporarily, but much later in her old age.......

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  I liked the scene with Aldrich in bed with his wife, where she has some choice comments about what is being done to these women.

 

thank you for mentioning that; i have no idea who the actress playing the part was, but she was terrific.

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Yes, Crawford did have work done. Bette did have her (eye) bags removed,  and relied on that "instant facelift" that pulled the face back temporarily, but much later in her old age.......

 

And turned into a set of decorative ponchos!

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And turned into a set of decorative ponchos!

 

 

LOL. Now, now........

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Once again, we have to remember. Most people watching this show have no idea who either of these women are. Except that they were actresses long ago in black and white movies. Lots of back story is necessary just to give the average viewer some concept of how these two got to this point.

 

 

 

The only time this "double standard" didn't exist is now. That age difference goes back to the middle ages and even before that. It wasn't shocking at all back then. Looks a bit odd today though. But, that's part of the magic of these films. To give a real view of how things were back then. And what was tolerated. 

 

 

And a lot of cracks about her bad plastic surgery. So much so that she went into hiding for a bit. We just had a thread recently about interviewing the few classic actors still around while they are still around. That won't happen if all we're going to do is make fun of them.

 

No one looks as they did 30 years ago. A major subject of Bette and Joan. They don't need to be reminded of that. They look in the mirror everyday. Why not remind them of their glory days. And the entertainment they gave to us. That would be a better way of getting some of these people to make appearances.

 

The Novak surgeries was beaten to death after she was on the Oscar telecast a few years back.    Yes,  everyone knows people get older that was NOT the point.  No one at this forum makes fun of actresses because they look their age (or even older).

 

But the issue with Novak was that the job was done really poorly.     To me it is fair to question the judgment of someone that makes such questionable decisions.   I.e. there was a CHOICE made here and to me it wasn't a sound one.

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But the issue with Novak was that the job was done really poorly.     To me it is fair to question the judgment of someone that makes such questionable decisions.   I.e. there was a CHOICE made here and to me it wasn't a sound one.

 

We all have choices. Just remember, when you "choose" to be negative and  criticize one, don't be surprised if others decide to just stay at home and out of the limelight and not be bothered.

 

Frankly, I choose to be positive and appreciate those who are still with us who gave such great performances. There are always question I would love to hear the answers to. And those old stories they can tell. They can't do that hiding at home.

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I think that in Hollywood people have been enduring the plastic surgeon's knife forever and denying it forever. LoL - -

 

But when it goes truly wrong and people look worse than they would have looked if they had aged naturally, then it's only natural that the public will notice this and say that is tragic.

 

 

Billy Wilder made a whole movie about this concept--Fedora.

 

It was about a beautiful legendary Greta Garboesque Golden Age movie star who had one plastic surgery too many and goes into hiding.

 

When extreme things happen to movie stars, it's only natural that the public is going to notice it and comment.

 

Julie Andrews had surgery on her throat and lost her voice. It's only natural people were going to discuss that sort of thing.

 

So when you see extreme changes in a movie star's face that is absolutely not positive, it's only natural that the public will take note of this.

 

Recently I've noticed Liza Minnelli and Lee Grant had procedures that didn't quite work out perfectly. And then there's the famous singer Kenny Rogers who looks very different now.

 

It seems as though it's going well for some people 50% of the time and vice versa. I think it's always a risk when you do something like that. But I'm not a movie star and I can understand how important their looks are to them, not just in terms of vanity but also in terms of working.

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Well, I really loved this second episode! The first episode was just Ok to me-- I wasn't entirely thrilled. But this new episode was very gripping and entertaining. I love the oneliners! The one thing I'm still not sold on, though, is Lange's Joan Crawford. She just doesn't register as Joan Crawford to me, at all! The looks, the voice, the mannerisms-- nothing! I much prefer Sarandon's Bette Davis. She really captures the essence of Davis to me.

 

Also, Afred Molina is fantastic as Robert Aldrich. This was really his episode! He really shouldn't be as likable as he is, given the fact that he's a bit of a dog, but Molina really makes you feel for his character and see what an impossible situation he's in in trying to work with these two women, meet their every demand and keep them both happy, all for the sake of his movie.

 

Does anybody know if there's any truth to the what the ending of the episode implies? ....

.... Did Davis and Aldrich really sleep together? That kind of threw me! I really wasn't expecting that, as I've never heard anything, anywhere that suggests that happened.

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Well, I really loved this second episode! The first episode was just Ok to me-- I wasn't entirely thrilled. But this new episode was very gripping and entertaining. I love the oneliners! The one thing I'm still not sold on, though, is Lange's Joan Crawford. She just doesn't register as Joan Crawford to me, at all! The looks, the voice, the mannerisms-- nothing! I much prefer Sarandon's Bette Davis. She really captures the essence of Davis to me.

 

Also, Afred Molina is fantastic as Robert Aldrich. This was really his episode! He really shouldn't be as likable as he is, given the fact that he's a bit of a dog, but Molina really makes you feel for his character and see what an impossible situation he's in in trying to work with these two women, meet their every demand and keep them both happy, all for the sake of his movie.

I enjoyed episode 2 very much. Molina is really great. I still think Lange as Joan is fine. Yes -- Bette is easier to play. She became a caricature in later life, that's why so many impressionists "did" her. I love Kathy Bates (as Joan Blondell) and, especially, the great Judy Davis (as Hedda). 

 

One quibble -- though I guess it's cinematic license. "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" would not have been playing on the radio in 1962. 

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I enjoyed episode 2 very much. Molina is really great. I still think Lange as Joan is fine. Yes -- Bette is easier to play. She became a caricature in later life, that's why so many impressionists "did" her. I love Kathy Bates (as Joan Blondell) and, especially, the great Judy Davis (as Hedda).

 

One quibble -- though I guess it's cinematic license. "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" would not have been playing on the radio in 1962.

 

Maybe Bette is easier to play, but there's just something lacking in Lange's Joan for me. Nothing against Lange-- I think she's a terrific actress, but I keep looking for Crawford in there somewhere, and I still haven't found her. Maybe she'll grow on me with the upcoming episodes. Even still, I'm loving the show so far!

 

Oh, I Love Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell also! She's great! The actress who plays Hedda Hopper is a scene-stealer for sure!

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there's just something lacking in Lange's Joan for me. Nothing against Lange-- I think she's a terrific actress, but I keep looking for Crawford in there somewhere, and I still haven't found her.

 

 

+1

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Also, Afred Molina is fantastic as Robert Aldrich. This was really his episode! He really shouldn't be as likable as he is, given the fact that he's a bit of a dog, but Molina really makes you feel for his character and see what an impossible situation he's in in trying to work with these two women, meet their every demand and keep them both happy, all for the sake of his movie.

 

Does anybody know if there's any truth to the what the ending of the episode implies? ....

.... Did Davis and Aldrich really sleep together? That kind of threw me! I really wasn't expecting that, as I've never heard anything, anywhere that suggests that happened.

 

spoiler**

 

**although i think we've almost all seen episode 2 at this point....

 

i dunno, but according to a fact ccheck run by EONLINE, there is no evidence that Aldrich and Crawford had any kind of affair- the line about their "private rehearsals" on AUTUMN LEAVES was made-up; Aldrich himself denied a relationship happened, and I was under the impression Joan was boffing Cliff Robertson on that joint- and if you got Cliff, AND you're THE leading lady, I say eat the cake.

 

if they are in fact making up an affair between Davis and Aldrich (or Crawford and Aldrich for that matter), then that BOTHERS ME.

 

(a lot)

 

ps- welcome to the boards.

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I think you're right. And not just old names for the classic film fans, but Zeta-Jones for "newer" film fans. Bates and the still-unseen Sarah Paulson (as Geraldine Page) are both regulars in most of Ryan Murphy's shows, as was Lange, so their appearances were expected, and the "famous narrator" conceit may have been done to find roles for them.

 

thank you, Lawrence. i think you hit the nail on the head here.

i did not realize that Kathy Bates was one of Murphy's John Watersesque "troupe" of actors.

 

(the Jane Darwell to his John Ford.)

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I also think that Lange, being one of the show's producers, might have something to do with her being cast anywhere on the project.

 

 

Sepiatone

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i brought this up downthread, but there is also the fact that Lange is 10 years older than Crawford was in 1962, and her voice is showing its age- if you close you eyes and listen to her- she sounds like an old lady. it has a frail, fading quality to it- and Joan kept her regal, throaty tones- insofar as I know- to her deathbed.

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i brought this up downthread, but there is also the fact that Lange is 10 years older than Crawford was in 1962, and her voice is showing its age- if you close you eyes and listen to her- she sounds like an old lady. it has a frail, fading quality to it- and Joan kept her regal, throaty tones- insofar as I know- to her deathbed.

 

Sarandon is also older than Davis was (by 16 years, I think); however I don't find her jowly/wrinkly enough in the Baby Jane makeup scenes (perhaps that will change). The weakest link is Catherine Zeta-Jones; I think Olivia would be hard to play -- no really distinguishing eccentricities to copy.

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I read yesterday on a web site (sorry, I can't remember which one for sure; I look at about five every day besides TCM)) that Ryan Murphy interviewed Bette Davis in the 1980s and he said she said she and Aldrich did have an affair.  I'll try and track this down later.

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I read yesterday on a web site (sorry, I can't remember which one for sure; I look at about five every day besides TCM)) that Ryan Murphy interviewed Bette Davis in the 1980s and he said she said she and Aldrich did have an affair. I'll try and track this down later.

Common knowledge in Hollywood was that if you wanted to finish the picture close to budget and to schedule, when there was a lot of obstreperous obstruction from the star, then that's exactly what you had to do.

 

 

Now the very gay Edmund Goulding (Dark Victory and The Great Lie) advised Joseph Mankiewicz not to take her on for All About Eve. However, in this case the star ended up with the leading man, which may be the exception that proves the rule.

 

 

For example--

 

Vincent Sherman-- Old Acquaintance

William Wyler --Jezebel

Anatole Litvak-- All This and Heaven Too

(And a former husband of Miriam Hopkins)

 

 

Now, Voyager and Deception Director Irving Rapper complained about her publicly well into his retirement. So, he may well have been the man that got away? LOL

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I dont believe it.............I know Bette was suspicious that Aldrich and Joan might be having one, and came right out and asked him. (No, but not for lack of Joan trying or something to that effect he replied)....

 

Bette's main concern was Joan trying to curry favor with Aldrich and his favoring her in the film........

 

No mention of it in B.D.'s book either and she left no stone unturned in trashing her mother (and she was in the film as well!!!)

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