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BetteDavis19

BETTE DAVIS

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That's awesome! We're so lucky that it's on DVD from Warner Bros. archive collection.

 

Speaking of that, to whom it may concern (Bette fans), there are FIVE new Bette movies that just came out on DVD a couple of weeks ago from the Warner Archive Collection. They are: Juarez (1939), Fashions of 1934 (1934), The Sister (1938), The Rich are Always with Us (1932), and Housewife (1934).

 

I just bought Fashions of 1934 and The Rich Are Always With Us, and I think they're both wonderful!

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Thanks for all of these great Bette pictures. I always felt Bette got a bad rap as being an actress that wasn't very attactive or sexy. I find the 30's Bette very attactive.

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James, I agree. Bette could be "very" attractive if the part called for it, she had a natural beauty about her.

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*Speaking of that, to whom it may concern (Bette fans), there are FIVE new Bette movies that just came out on DVD a couple of weeks ago from the Warner Archive Collection. They are: Juarez (1939), Fashions of 1934 (1934), The Sister (1938), The Rich are Always with Us (1932), and Housewife (1934).*

 

Thanks for sharing that, Bette. I'm going to see if these are available on Classicflix yet.

 

I was never a huge Davis fan, and still am not, but your enthusiasm is infectious. :)

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Ugaarte,

 

Thanks for the kind words, and also for the reminder that in a democracy, "atrocity" is in the eye of the beholder. My apologies for exaggerating.

 

It'd be more accurate to say that Davis' singing reminds me of Ethel Merman's assessment of Irving Berlin's: "He sang like a hinge!" Using that scale of measurement, Bette is an old rusty shutter swaying in a strong breeze.

 

Admittedly, the intricate, patter-like lyrics and complicated time signature suggest that the title song from "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" was a challenging choice of material.

 

(And whether it's a title song "in title only" depends on one's definition since rather than playing anywhere near credits, it's heard in the film only once and without lyrics as incidental music -- playing on the radio at the beginning of, I believe, the first scene between the next door neighbor, "that nosey Mrs. Bates," portrayed by the highly underrated Anna Lee, and Mrs. Bates' teenaged daughter Liza, portrayed by an actress credited as Barbara Merrill but who, as any true Davis devotee will happily inform you -- and anyone in earshot -- is actually Bette's and her overbearing fourth husband, Gary Merrill's daughter, the very underhanded B.D. Hyman.

 

And please excuse the extension of my digression, but it's necessary to point out that while describing B.D. as "underhanded" might momentarily feed an addiction to posting pretentiously verbose comments, it is a VAST understatement of B.D.'s apparent character.

 

Those of us who thought Christina Crawford's "Mommy Dearest" would stand forever as the ultimate public desecration of a movie star's image by one of their own spoiled spawn were shocked when B.D. shattered that record simply by publishing her scathing book while its target was still ALIVE (albeit only barely).

 

Obviously, I do not side with those who denigrate Hyman for simply miscalculating how much longer her terminally ill mother would live. (I mean, really ... what movie star's offsrping hasn't made THAT silly mistake ??)

 

Just to recap: Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were aware their daughters were cooking up character-assassinating books, essentially putting Christina and B.D. in -- you should pardon the expression -- a dead heat.

 

Christina seemed destined for victory thanks to her outstanding points for not only damaging, but damn near oblitering the public image her mother'd devoted her entire life to creating. The points later awarded when reports surfaced Christina had also tried to use what she intended to put in her book as a way of strong-arming (even more) money out of her then-dying mother seemed to cement her place in history.

 

Little could she have realized that B.D. would soar past her, propelled by her stunningly high marks for Execution and Innovation which were awarded for having not just publicly humiliating her mother but also making it possible for the devastatingly pain her act of vengeance had caused to be made known to the public as well ... directly from Bette herself !

 

Even the most rabid of Davis' detractors can muster an iota of sympathy from the talk show interviews in which Davis, frail as a bird following her breast cancer surgery AND a stroke yet still puffing defiantly on cigarettes, spoke candidly about her daughter choosing to share intimate details of her upbringing -- or, at least, the ones she deemed "worthy" -- with the entire world rather than a handful of mental health care professionals.)

 

BUT ... getting back to the OTHER tragedy -- Bette Davis singing on "The Andy Williams Show" ... ?

 

I think Davis didn't so much *perform* music as *deform* it but I venture so harsh an appraisal only because I believe Davis' stature as an actress won't be toppled by the minor quibble that her singing talent was more lillyputian than Lily Pons. Considering how well it's withstood all the mud B.D. threw at it, Betty Davis' legacy won't be sullied by so minor a criticism that as a singer, she wasn't very good.

 

(Cut to Bette belting the "Baby Jane" lyric: "How I WISH-o-wish-o-wish-o-wish I WERE !")

 

To me, the problem with Davis' appearance on Andy Williams' show is not that her singing voice is neither melodic nor even particularly pleasant. It hardly even matters that she sways to the music like an improperly balanced washing machine. Such imperfections are actually welcome examples of the otherwise nearly-undefinable quality known as "camp."

 

No, the real awfulness is that, perhaps due to her lack of experience belting out a tune, Davis' mask of "Seasoned and Indominable Professional" slips just enough as to belie an important part of her image -- the Blackglama legend who always sliced her way through life's most melodramatic vicissitudes with her chin held high can be clearly seen as nervous, self-conscious, and apparently suffering from the delusion that she can "get by" on so tacky a gimmick as the ol' "Aging Movie Legend Attempting to Sing" schtick which ultimately reached near-epidemic proportions on TV variety shows of the late 60s and left small but permanent scars on the later careers of Lana Turner and Tallulah Bankhead.

 

Davis' song performance is even flawed technically -- it becomes abundantly clear that she'd memorized but not mastered the song's lyics when, near the end, she seeks rescue from her cue cards as desperately as the Titanic's crew must have scanned the horizon for Carpathia's silhouette. And while Bette managed to avoid sinking, her struggle to stay afloat was captured on videotape :

 

http://tinyurl.com/6ovnwyb

 

I realize it was impossible for TV variety shows to ever rival motion picture studio in terms of a finished product's appearance of perfection. Still, it pains me greatly to catch the great Bette Davis in the act of fumbling for her next line.

 

I do, of course, respect your opinions, Ugaarte, no matter how addle-pated or whopper-jawed they might be (and if I were ever to deign to signify a friendly rib jab by inserting a "smiley," I'd put one here) and I also enjoy your comments -- even those which offer no opportunity to apologize for the crime of exaggerating by indulging even more eggregiously in doing so.

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Just have to say that I won't be able to update this thread at all over the weekend. I'm going on a little trip. So, if anyone would like to take over this thread for the weekend, then that's fine.

 

Also, how many of you saw Mr. Skeffington? What did you think of it? It always affects me. I cried. :_|

 

So, on Monday we will pick up with my beautiful Bette in 1934.

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Hope you are having a nice time, Bette!

 

I don't want to "take over the thread for the weekend", but referring to your post below here is a shot from *Mr. Skeffington*:

 

dvlr85.jpg

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Far left with his back turned to the camera. In the movie when they came back to the house as older gentlemen I was wondering if he was going to run up the stairs yelling CHARGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hey Bette - here's another Skeffington pic. I'm bored so I thought I'd bump your thread up. Otherwise you'd be finding it on page 12 by the time you get back from your trip! ;)

 

125tgqs.jpg

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We pick up with Bette in 1934. And, thanks to those of you who responded to this thread to keep this thread from going to the 20th page in my absence. :)

 

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Bette,

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you had a nice weekend! Thanks for the information about the new releases. I purchased THE SISTER which I haven't seen in ages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night I watched OLD ACQUAINTANCE starring Miss Davis and Miriam Hopkins. Everytime I view this film I find it interesting that both actresses hated each other. I always chuckle at the scene when Davis wrings Hopkins neck! The delight she must have taken in that. lol

 

 

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I really liked "Old Acquaintance" too, partially because I knew that Hopkins and Davis hated each other, so the neck-wringing scene was also funny to me

 

(update): I thought also of Davis kicking Crawford in Baby Jane. Funny how Davis was paid big bucks to take out her "revenge" on people she didn't like - maybe she considered it a dream job! :^0

 

Edited by: EugeniaH on Nov 13, 2011 5:17 PM

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That's hilarious! Getting paid to be mean to people you hate, well, if I must...

 

But, I have some exciting news. You see I'm over here shaking and freaking out and crying because I just realized the most spectacular thing- I'm related to Bette Davis! I just checked my family tree with hers and we ARE RELATED! We're cousins! I'm the happiest person in the world! You never know who you're related to in this crazy world.

 

Anyway, now I'm going to go watch Of Human Bondage and cheer on "cuz" with her amazing acting. Who knows, maybe I'll become the next Bette Davis... ;)

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Eugina,

 

 

It's a testiment to the actress's ability in order to pull off genuine friendship. I'm always wondering what each was thinking in certain scenes where they had to hug or console or laugh. I picture those comic strip bubble's over their heads with captions such as, "I'd like to sock you in the kisser!" Or, "You'd look good wearing that champagne!" lol

 

 

 

 

Bette,

 

 

How wonderful to know that you and Miss Davis are relatives! Your excitment comes through your post! I'm sure you are doing her proud with your loving thread devoted to her. I am very happy for you. 8^)

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*BetteDavis19 ~*

*But, I have some exciting news. You see I'm over here shaking and freaking out and crying because I just realized the most spectacular thing- I'm related to Bette Davis! I just checked my family tree with hers and we ARE RELATED! We're cousins! I'm the happiest person in the world! You never know who you're related to in this crazy world.*

 

 

 

How AWESOME is this ! Congradulations are in Order here ! Did you have any sort of an 'inkling' of any kind, before this, that you may been related to Bette Davis ? What made you check it out ? Are there any Similarities in Looks ? Do you have 'BETTE DAVIS' EYEs ? Well I, for one, am very Excited for you, as I know you are, too ! CONGRADULATIONS and KUDOS ! :D

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQSlQuNjBKCIN_WY62FumS

 

 

 

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Thanks so much for your congratulations, guys! And, ugaarte, I have had "inklings", many, many times before. Since I got interested in Bette, I've always felt this pang of love and passion for her that I haven't felt for any other old movie star, even though I love them all! I always have strange connections with her, since I started watching her movies, she's always popping up in my life in the strangest and most specific ways (and my family and friends are here as witnesses to prove it ;) ). So, I've always thought that there must be some connection between her and I, and I was fascinated by it. So, this is why I looked up her family tree. I never thought that I actually was related, but I thought that it was a possibility. It wasn't until I was at my grandparent's house and I looked at our family tree back to the 1600s where I recognized the names, and checked them with Bette's tree.

 

And yes, there are actually similarities in our looks! I definitely have Bette Davis eyes, and so do my mom, brother, and cousins, That was another reason I liked Bette: she looked like me with her big eyes, fair skin, little nose, oval face, and tiny lips.

 

And thanks for the pic of 'cuz' on a magazine cover! "Picture Play", hmmm.... doesn't that title sound like "Photoplay" magazine to you?

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Bette winning the Oscar for her performance in Dangerous, from 1935,

 

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which is this movie!

 

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Also, Bette loved dogs...

 

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Even stuffed ones!

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Now we're to 1936...

 

I just love her outfit in this!

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"Well! Who is that *gorgeous* creature in there?" ;)

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The Petrified Forest-

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From Satan Met a Lady, which, absolutely fails as a comedy, but a movie that I really like otherwise (I saw it on On Demand).

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The movies she made that month were: The Petrified Forest, The Golden Arrow, and Satan Met a Lady.

 

Here comes ol' 37...

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BETTE FUN FACT O' THE DAY:

 

Did you know that when Bette won her first movie contract at Universal, and a representative came to meet her and her mother at the train station, he never found them? He just went back without them because he didn't see anyone who had a sufficeint amount of appeal or movie star quality.

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1937----

 

Looking over the script for It's Love I'm After.

 

dwqbtl.jpg

 

Kid Galahad.

 

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Bette's realistic bandages, which she had to get for herself by running out of teh studio and getting a professional doctor to bandage her up. :)

 

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More from '37:

 

A shot with a very whimsical background.

 

2rcsbvc.jpg

 

I wonder if they took these shots back-to-back?

 

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In 1937, Bette made Marked Woman, Kid Galahad, That Certain Woman, and It's Love I'm After.

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*Bette's realistic bandages, which she had to get for herself by running out of teh studio and getting a professional doctor to bandage her up. :)*

 

I'm sure the doctors were falling all over themselves to volunteer! ;)

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