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Jackie Cooper Christmas Short Question


nickdimeo
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I am a bit curious about something to do with the Jackie Cooper MGM Christmas short from about 1932. Why is Bette Davis in it? This short revolves around MGM stars wishing a Merry Christmas but I was always under the impression that Bette was a Warner Brothers contract player even when she broke into the business. Did Joan Crawford refuse to partake in such a silly short, and as punishment MGM borrowed Bette Davis.

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Nick when Bette Davis arrived in Hollywood in 1930 she went to Universal, RKO and then Warner Brothers. There is no mention of MGM. I doubt that the Davis/Crawford feud started that early so I don't believe it was spite work on MGMs part.

Her appearance in the Christmas short is not mentioned in her bio at all.

 

Mongo

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Are you sure Bette davis is in it? Since she wasn't under contract to MGM & she wasn't famous in 1931 I bet she might not be in it. I can't remember. Maybe it's someone who looks like Davis. I remember Marion Davies was in it (I think). I'll have to watch it the next time it's on (later this month).

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Did MGM ever "borrow" Bette Davis? And, it's quite possible that a film clip from much later years, if she was on the MGM lot for some reason, was inserted into the Jackie Cooper short more recently, which might explain her appearance in it although it was a 1931 short. That doesn't make much sense, but stranger things have happened in Hollywood (smile).

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I taped THE CHRISTMAS PARTY and just watched it. Bette Davis is NOT in it. There are 3 blonde actresses in it and I think the one you think is Bette Davis is Marion Davies. A small child (not a good actor) calls her "Miss Davis" but should have called her "Miss Davies." imdb.com lists the full cast. Most of cast, in order of appearance: Jackie Cooper, Norma Shearer, Jimmy Durante (as Santa), Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery, Polly Moran, Reginald Denny (not a good view), Clark Gable, Charlotte Greenwood, Lionel Barrymore, blonde actress (imdb says it's Leila Hyams), Cliff Edwards, Ramon Novarro, Marion Davies, Anita Page.

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Perhaps this is a dumb question, but why not consider the fact that she was on the lot? Did studios ban other stars from their premises just because they were under contract with a rival? It seems to me that they were neighbors and friends who probably shared common, independent agents, mutual functions, etc. I also suspect a lot of the 'montage'-type footage in these old clips were sometimes home movies. Just some thoughts.

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I also taped THE CHRISTMAS PARTY on Sunday, watched it several times, and I have to agree with catcarson. It's Marion DAVIES you saw there, not Bette DAVIS. Heck, you can't expect these kids to get all of their lines right!

 

Davis was under contract to Universal when this short was made in 1931. I've seen two of her films from this year, BAD SISTER and SEED, and she is noticeably taller and thinner (some might say "scrawnier") than the slightly zaftig Marion Davies in THE CHRISTMAS PARTY.

 

Nope, there's no question here -- it's definitely Marion Davies.

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Coffeedan, I agree with you. I'm sure that's Marion Davies. Bette Davis wasn't even famous when it was made and most of the stars in it were famous at the time. The short was made in part for the Christmas holiday and to promote MGM stars, not someone from another studio. I wish someone could post a picture from it showing Marion Davies. TCM will play it again Friday Dec. 26 at 5:30 a.m. est; Saturday Dec. 27 at 9:30 a.m. est; Monday Dec. 29 at 5:30 a.m. est. I hope other people will watch it. Nickdimeo & Onlyoldmovies should think about making an appointment with their optometrists.

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