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I can't even believe this myself, wow, I am in a state of shock. Bette's first movie, The Bad Sister, which is not available anywhere, and which I and I'm sure any others desperately want to see, the whole thing is online, right here:








Bette's first line is, "He's up all right!"


Ah, I feel at peace.


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Ah, Bette ... a enigma wrapped in talent and tied up with tantrums.


But WHhhATttt wasss with her pronun-ssseation of the letter Ssssss ?


Sssstill ... in 1962, she provided one of the most profound bits of philosophy EVER ...


There she is in the final scene of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" sitting on the beach with her sister who, with her dying breath, tries to explain before going Bette bye that -- Woop! Woop! Spoiler Alert! -- that it was SHE, Joanie the Just Sister, who was responsible for the accident that left her a cripple ... that it was NOT Batty the Bed -- er, Bette the Bad Sister's fault, even though Baddy Baby had been bearing the blame.


Well, if ever there was a cue for Bette to go bonkers and bust out with bedlam ... that was it. But no. What does she do instead ? As if shouldering an anvil of regret, her lament is almost musical:


"Aaaalllll of thisss time we coot haff been FRIENDSSSssss ..."


I think of it every time there's another example of long-standing, ridiculous, pointless fighting, feuding and hatred that's gone in this world ... like, f'rinstance, the chronic catfight between Bette and Joan !


Did you know, for example, that Bette was nominated for Best Actress for "Baby Jane" ? Unfortunately for Bette, Joan had slyly agreed to accept the award should the Best Actress winner be unable to attend, and when the winner was announced -- "Anne Bancroft for 'The Miracle Worker'!!!" but Anne wasn't there, Joan stomped onto the stage and grrrrr!-aciously accepted the prize. Oh yes, she did:




And one source even claims it took nearly a year for Joan to finally hand that Oscar over to its rightful owner. Sssso maybe not everyone could -- "all of thissss time" -- have been "FRIENDSSSSssss" ...


Time for one of the Top-5 best Bette Davis stories:


In the late 40s, while gearing up for one of the last films of Davis' Warner Bros. contract, it seems there was some difficulty finding a Director of Photography who could make the aging star look as "fresh" as she demanded.


One afternoon, in a screening room packed with executives, their entourages of hangers-on, and the dangerous Miss D., a film was run which had been shot by one candidate in bombed out Berlin.


Finally, bored and annoyed, Davis suddenly stood up and shouted, "And why, may I asssk, should I wasssste my time considering THISsss man to be MY Director of Photography ?!?!"


From the back of the room, one wag whispered just a bit too loudly: "He shoots ruins !"


Precisely how long it took to clean a certain hanger-on's intestines from that screening room's walls has never determined.

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Thank you for your opinion, Valeska. :) You know, I've never actually seen Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Isn't that sad? I don't know how I've never seen it, but I haven't. You know, one time when I was around 10, when I started to get interested in Bette Davis, I heard about Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and I read the synopsis of it, I thought that I would never want to watch it! We were just about to do a play then, and I got the part of a relatively nice character named Jane. When I came home and told my mom about it I burst out laughing. I couldn't stop for a couple minutes! :^0


(Also, sorry, I won't be able to update this thread otherwise for today! :( )

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Bette, you should definitely make a point of seeing this movie. Admittedly, it's a long way from *Dark Victory* and Bette takes some getting used to here if you are more a fan of her movies from the earlier years... But her acting is terrific in this and the pairing of Davis and Crawford was brilliant. I doubt two other actresses could have pulled it off so well and made it the classic that it is.


It's a camp phenomena, it's true, but this is a movie I still haven't tired of watching (not that I watch it so frequently, but I'm always willing to watch it...)


It's terrific to read that you got into BD at 10. Which movie of hers hooked you?

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I like Whatever Happened To Baby Baby Jane a great deal, also had sort of a errie ending I liked.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were perfect together. At the start of the movie during the early childhood years, the young Baby Jane reminded me of Rhoda in The Bad Seed. Someone you didn't like at all. Heck of a good movie.

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I love the scene where Jane is standing in front of the mirror singing "Daddy, Sweet Daddy"... and then she realizes that she is no longer that young girl... Powerful acting.


Then the part where Davis kicks Crawford... wow.


And, the "special dinner..." :)

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It sure was powerful, that movie had so many "moments" that you just don't forget. That "special dinner" was so cruel.....

Strong story, Bette Davis I think gives a stand-out perfect performance, and Joan Crawford plays her part the way it should have been played. This movie just has all of the ingrediants.

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Whatever the off-screen relationship between Davis and Crawford was, on screen they were gold. It's too bad they didn't make any other movies together (even in the 40s, etc.), but I'm sure Crawford was glad to get out of the "Charlotte" movie.


Edited by: EugeniaH on Nov 8, 2011 5:09 PM

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They certainly did have the right chemistry together, I wonder if it might be because they were both from "the old school of movies and acting"?

I've heard they really didn't get along. I don't know if that's true or possibly pre-movie hype. Either way, they sure made a heck of a movie. I remember being so surprised at who was driving the car that put Joan Crawfords character in the wheelchair.

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I was in high school when *WEHtBJ* was released, and saw it in the theater then. I was very struck by it, and remembered it. But, I never watched it again, until recently. When I was a teen, I found it painfully sad, and tormented, so I was reluctant to watch it again. Watching it as an adult, I am really impressed by the film. I'd rate it up there with *Sunset Boulevard*. In fact, I like *WEHtBJ* better.

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(sputter, sputter) What was that ... ?!


Ha ha ... for a moment there, I could have SWORN you said that you'd NEVER SEEN "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane ?"


What's that ... ? You haven't ????? And yet your nom de comment is BetteDavis19 ???


Well ! Do not pass go, do not collect $200, but rather hie thyself forthwith to JAIL -- and without any chance of PAROLE -- until you've not only seen "Baby Jane," but can also pass a written exam on it ! (And yes, there WILL be essay questions !)


Just kidding there (somewhat), BD19 ...


The reason for that reaction (of throwing up a little in my mouth) is that, while some condemned both the Misses Davis and Crawford for accepting roles in what was deemed a low-budget horror film -- and a few even insultingly declared it the first in a new genre called "Hag Horror" -- the fact is that the movie would ultimately be considered the last great performance either of these legendary actresses would give.


Davis in particular tackled her role of the tragically deranged former child star, Jane Hudson, with the same level of commitment and complete lack of vanity with which she'd played the tubercular Mildred in "Of Human Bondage."


In fact, it's been reported that the first time Queen Joan saw Davis wearing her bizarre, almost Kabuki-like make-up, Her Majesty deigned to utter that most damning of all understatements with which one actor expresses disdain for another's work: "Oh ... you're going to play it THAT way ?"


What Crawford was far too vain to understand is that there was -- of course -- method (but, as Davis made clear in her autobiography, not The Method) in her madness. As Miss D. later explained to author Whitney Stine, "I felt Jane never washed her face, just added another layer of makeup each day."


Davis' performance turned out to be THE single most searingly unapologetic of her entire career. As several commenters have mentioned above, the moment when Jane is drunkenly performing one of her childhood songs, suddenly catches sight of herself in a mirror and dissolves into tears is so heartbreakingly revealing that it succeeds beyond measure in creating sympathy for one of the screen's most detestably villainous characters.


Simply noting that Davis's portrayal of Jane earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination is actually an understatement of her achievement. Only by putting that honor in context can the true extent of Davis' stature as an actress be understood:


* It was the TENTH time Bette Davis was nominated for Best Actress -- a record at the time.


* It had been ten years since her last Best Actress nomination (for "The Star" in 1952) and in the intervening decade, the number of roles offered to her dropped off precipitously, to the point that the word in Hollywood was that Bette Davis was a has-been.


There's evidence Davis herself may have thought so too -- in September of 1962, during production of "Baby Jane," she placed an advertisement in Variety under the heading of "Situations Wanted — Women Artists" which read:


"Mother of three—10, 11 & 15—divorcee. American. Thirty years experience as an actress in Motion Pictures. Mobile still and more affable than rumor would have it. Wants steady employment in Hollywood. (Has had Broadway)."


When the ad created considerable stir, Davis claimed she'd intended it as a joke.


* Right up to the moment Maximillian Schell announced the winner, the Best Actress contest was considered a neck-and-neck race between Davis and Anne Bancroft who won for "The Miracle Worker."


In addition to Bancroft's sublime performance, the other competition was quite considerable -- also nominated were Lee Remick for "The Days of Wine and Roses," Geraldine Page for "Sweet Bird of Youth," and Katharine Hepburn for "Long Day's Journey Into Night."


* Made on a budget of just under $1 million, within a year of its premiere on Octoberr 31, 1962, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" had grossed $9 million, making it a blockbuster for the time.


* When asked, many years later, by Johnny Carson if there were any roles she had NOT won the Oscar for but thought she deserved to, Davis instantly shot back, "Yes, THREE !" and Jane Hudson was, of course, one of them.


* Where Davis' work in "Baby Jane" was one of the high-points of her career, it led to one of her lowest: while attempting to publicize the film by appearing on "The Andy Williams Show," she also attempted to SING the supposed title song -- an atrocity which simply must be seen to be believed:









I do apologize for lecturing you so, BetteDavis19. (I do hope by now you've noticed the firm placement of my tongue in my cheek ... yes ? In other words, no offense intended, dahling.)


Right now, however ... I think you need to go to your room, young lady.


And just so it's clear why, let me quote what Joan Crawford (probably, at some point) told her son, Christopher: "If I didn't care enough to want you to grow up to be a big, strong, well-rounded adult, I wouldn't take so much time tying you to your bed every night !"


But don't worry -- even though you're confined to your room, I won't let you go hungry. Oh no ... I'll bring you your meals on a tray ... !


But ... "Didja know we have RATS in the cellar ?" *







* Hint: This WILL be on your exam.

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Xavier while I watch WHTBJ and find it okay I cannot put it on the same level as Sunset Boulevard. The two are just not comparable to me (just my opinion). I do agree with the poster who said that Bette approached the role as she did all of her roles and did do a great job as the psycho sister. I found the ice cream scene at the beach at the end to be the best part.

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*•Where Davis' work in "Baby Jane" was one of the high-points of her career, it led to one of her lowest: while attempting to publicize the film by appearing on "The Andy Williams Show," she also attempted to SING the supposed title song -- an atrocity which simply must be seen to be believed:*




I just now checked out that Link to hear her sing, and an 'ATROCITY' ? ... No Way ! . . I thought she sounded fantastic. I mean, her voice is it's usual, 'gravely' sounding, but wasn't bad at all. She was on key, had the right timing, hit all the right notes . . . I was expecting a 'Roseanne Barr 'National Anthem' fiasco. NOPE ! I mean, she wasn't Doris Day or Lena Horne. But Bette Davis came off very delightful and appeared to be in good spirits and having a good time with Andy Williams. Oh and FYI, I loved her mint-green & sparkling flowing dress, which she used to 'swirl' around in 'merriment'.



Besides all that, I really enjoyed reading your Post regarding tidbits on Bette Davis' life. :)



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Oooh, yeah! I've started a big discussion! {font:Wingdings} :D {font}


And now I'm simply dripping with facts that even +I+ never knew about.



And, Valeska, thanks, you've contributed the most! I never knew what I was missing, I'm so ashamed {font:Wingdings}:({font} ( ;) ). But don't think I didn't know anything about the movie, I did know about rats in the cellar-






Pay special attention to 2:20…



Also, I do know enough about the movie not to accept any tray full of food, at least, with a lid on it, that is (since I figured that that would be on the exam, if you know what I'm referring to. {font:Wingdings}J{font})



But, I have now made it my duty to find this film online or available to rent and watch it in the next couple of days. So, you better be getting your test ready, VS…{font:Wingdings} :D {font}

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Bette - My memory might be faulty on this, but I think that when it came to filming the scene of Crawford opening the lid over her dinner plate, she specifically waited until the final take to look at the rat for the first time (that is, she didn't look at her meal during the rehearsals), so that her reaction would be genuine for the final cut. And I'm remembering her reaction!! If it was me, I would be destroying the set in fright!!

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I love knowing facts like that! That's so funny, but it makes complete sense! If I waited until the actual filming of a scene to look at something like that, I would probably scream my head off. Yes. I mean off. ;)


But, then again, I wouldn't want to look at it in advance, either. As soon as Bette brought in the tray, I would just pick it up, and go throw it in the trash.

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I better be getting back to my mission, since I chose to accept it, starting with pics of Bette from 1932. (My last were from 1931, weren't they? ?:| )


Anyway, here we go-






Her only film with Spencer.





Ever heard, "I'd like to kiss you but I just washed my hair,"?






I have to say, she looks really cute in this swimsuit!






I lover her dress!

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