Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Bette Davis eyes
So, 1,500 posts clocked up, and I still have a few more to do ... now some Bette Davis highlights.
1930s: After her stunning performance in OF HUMAN BONDAGE in 1934, she won Oscars for DANGEROUS in 1935 (never seen that!) and JEZEBEL in 1938, the first of three stunning ones with William Wyler - THE LETTER in 1940 and THE LITTLE FOXES in '41. She also scored in the 30s in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF ELIZABETH AND ESSEX and DARK VICTORY. MARKED WOMAN was a terrific one too ...
1940s: She reigned supreme in those classy "women's pictures" (the men were away at war) like NOW VOYAGER, THE GREAT LIE and OLD ACQUAINTANCE, and finished the '40s with that delirious Trash Classic BEYOND THE FOREST, her last at Warners ... "What a dump" indeed! She was often "a vixen in furs" (DECEPTION) or else noble and self-sacrificing (OLD ACQUAINTANCE) or sometimes both as in her first pair of twins in A STOLEN LIFE.
1950s: began well with the timeless ALL ABOUT EVE, I also like the melodramatics of THE STAR in '53 and THE VIRGIN QUEEN in '55, WEDDING BREAKFAST (THE CATERED AFFAIR) in '56. By 1959 she was playing another great queen - Catherine The Great - in a cameo in JOHN PAUL JONES, as well as a cameo with Alec Guinness in THE SCAPEGOAT.
1960s - Her fortunes, like Joan Crawford's, revived in the 1960s with the success of BABY JANE, but I prefer the outrageous DEAD RINGER where she plays twin sisters Margaret and Edie, or the delirious Trash of WHERE LOVE HAS GONE .... she was also fun wearing that eyepatch in THE ANNIVERSARY in 1968.
1970s/1980s: After the dreadful BUNNY O'HARE and lots of TV, Bette was back in big pictures doing that delightful double act with Maggie Smith in DEATH ON THE NILE. She continued into the 1980s despite health problems, and scored a late quality role, with Lillian Gish in THE WHALES OF AUGUST in 1987. Bette died in France in 1989, aged 81. She always said her tombstone would read "She did it the hard way". .... Her great (and not so) roles continue to fascinate us. It was great seeing her take the stage at the BFI in 1972, as I have reported here before. See Bette label for more ...