Bette Davis: Articles


Emmy Nominations: Bette Davis & Joan Crawford In - By Proxy

In case you're wondering about the title of this 2017 Emmy nominations post, think Feud: Bette and Joan. Lawsuit or no – Davis friend Olivia de Havilland is at it – Feud can be found 11 times in the list below. Best Comedy Atlanta (FX) black-ish (ABC) Master of None […]


TCM Presents 100% Not Gay John Nash & Passionate James Dean Bromance

TCM presents the life story of (a not gay) John Nash, starring Russell Crowe: In the phony 'A Beautiful Mind,' director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman wash the gay away. '31 Days of Oscar' on TCM: From fake biopic & passionate bromance to the deadly clash of civilizations Turner […]


Scream Queens: Top Ten List Includes Unexpected Choices

Top Ten Scream Queens: Barbara Steele, who both emitted screams and elicited same, is in a category of her own. Top Ten Scream Queens Halloween is over until next year, but the equally bewitching Day of the Dead is just around the corner. So, dead or alive, here's my revised […]


Joan Leslie Dead at 90: Actress Fought Warner Bros. + Danced with Fred Astaire & James Cagney

Joan Leslie. Joan Leslie: Actress who fought Warner Bros. and co-starred opposite Gary Cooper and Fred Astaire dead at 90 Joan Leslie, best (somewhat mis)remembered as sweet girl next door types in Hollywood movies of the '40s, died on Oct. 12, '15, in Los Angeles. Leslie (born on Jan. 26, […]


Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Movies: From Boytoy to Drug Smuggler

Douglas Fairbanks Jr.: Rare movie star child to achieve Hollywood success. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was never as popular as his father, silent film superstar Douglas Fairbanks, who starred in one action-adventure blockbuster after another in the 1920s (The Mark of Zorro, Robin Hood, The Thief of Bagdad) and whose stardom […]


Joan Crawford Movies: 'The Women' 1939, Banned Christian-Themed Drama

Joan Crawford: Ambitious, driven Movie Star. Joan Crawford movies on TCM: Underrated actress, top star in several of her greatest roles If there was ever a professional who was utterly, completely, wholeheartedly dedicated to her craft, Joan Crawford was it. Ambitious, driven, talented, smart, obsessive, calculating, she had whatever it […]


Katharine Hepburn Movies: Women in Drag, in Love & in Danger

Katharine Hepburn movies. Katharine Hepburn movies: Woman in drag, in love, in danger In case you're suffering from insomnia, you might want to spend your night and early morning watching Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” series. Four-time Best Actress Academy Award winner Katharine Hepburn is TCM's star today, […]


Olivia de Havilland Movies: 'Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte' as Favor to Bette Davis

Olivia de Havilland as Lady Marian in 'The Adventures of Robin Hood.' Olivia de Havilland on TCM: Your chance to watch 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' for the 384th time Olivia de Havilland is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” star today, Aug. 2, '15. The two-time Best Actress […]


'The Letter' 1940 Movie: Bette Davis' Outstanding Deadly Vixen

'The Letter' 1940, with Bette Davis. 'The Letter' 1940 movie: Bette Davis superb in masterful studio era production Directed by William Wyler and adapted by Howard Koch from W. Somerset Maugham's 1927 play, The Letter is one of the very best films made during the Golden Age of the Hollywood […]


Teresa Wright: Actress Made Academy Awards History

Teresa Wright. Teresa Wright: Actress made Oscar history Teresa Wright, best remembered for her Oscar-winning performance in the World War II melodrama Mrs. Miniver and for her deceptively fragile, small-town heroine in Alfred Hitchcock's mystery-drama Shadow of a Doubt, died at age 86 ten years ago (2005) – on March […]


Honorary Award: Marlene Dietrich & Rita Hayworth Among Women 'Snubbed' by Academy

Honorary Award non-winner Marlene Dietrich. Honorary Award: Academy 'snubbed' Gloria Swanson & Rita Hayworth + Marlene Dietrich & dozens of other women (See previous post: “Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux 'Snubbed.'”) A sizable chunk of part three of this three-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and […]


Joan Lorring: One of Earliest Surviving Best Supporting Actress Oscar Nominee Dead at 88

Joan Lorring in 'Three Strangers' Joan Lorring dead at 88: 'The Corn Is Green' performer was one of the earliest surviving Academy Award nominees in the acting categories Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Joan Lorring, who stole the 1945 film version of The Corn Is Green from none other […]


Racist '12 Years a Slave' Posters? + Bette Davis & Joan Crawford Shower Curtains Are Watching You

“Racist” 12 Years a Slave Italian poster? That's Brad Pitt – instead of lead Chiwetel Ejiofor – in Steve McQueen's 12 anni schiavo. But is this poster truly racist, as social media hysteria would have us believe, or merely another instance of lack of truth in advertising? Along with David […]


Bette Davis Movies: Danger Ahead

Bette Davis movies: TCM schedule on August 14 (image: Bette Davis in 'Dangerous,' with Franchot Tone) See previous post: “Bette Davis Eyes: They're Watching You Tonight.” 3:00 AM PARACHUTE JUMPER (1933). Dir.: Alfred E. Green. Cast: Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Bette Davis, Frank McHugh, Claire Dodd, Harold Huber, Leo Carrillo, Thomas […]


Bette Davis Eyes Are Watching You Tonight

Bette Davis' eyes keep 'Watch on the Rhine' Bette Davis' eyes are watching everything and everyone on Turner Classic Movies this evening, as TCM continues with its “Summer Under the Stars” film series: today, August 14, 2013, belongs to two-time Oscar winner Bette Davis' eyes, cigarettes, and clipped tones. Right […]


Paul Henreid Movies: From Nearly Losing Ingrid Bergman to Lighting Bette Davis' Cigarette

Paul Henreid. Paul Henreid: Actor was 'dependable' leading man to Hollywood actresses Paul Henreid, best known as the man who wins Ingrid Bergman's body but not her heart in Casablanca, is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of July 2013. TCM will be showing a couple of dozen movies […]


Bette Davis Singing 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?'

Bette Davis sings “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Bette Davis would have turned 104 today. The clip below, in which Davis sings “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?,” is from the December 20, 1962, episode of The Andy Williams Show. (“What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?,” song lyrics: “She […]


'The Letter' Movie: 'Murderess & Adulterer' Jeanne Eagels' Sole Extant Talkie

The Letter movie with Jeanne Eagels and Herbert Marshall Having watched William Wyler's masterful 1940 film adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham's 1927 play The Letter and having read quite a bit about Broadway star Jeanne Eagels' remarkable talent, I was expecting to find at least a modicum of interest in […]


'The Whales of August': Lillian Gish & Bette Davis in Powerful Drama

Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price and Ann Sothern in The Whales of August According to my math, the careers of the three leading ladies – Lillian Gish, Bette Davis, and Ann Sothern – in Lindsay Anderson's The Whales of August total 191 years. And that is without taking into […]


Sean Young Pulls a Bette Davis

A few years ago, I saw Sean Young at a Santa Monica restaurant. She looked really good. Fast forward to Sean Young on The David Letterman Show, where Young literally – and I mean literally – begs for work. Tacky? Daring? Both? Young, who'll turn 52 next November, went from […]


BFI Fellowship Recipients: From Bette Davis to Bernardo Bertolucci

David Cronenberg, Ralph Fiennes to Become BFI Fellows. [Right: Bette Davis.] The list of those who have received a British Film Institute Fellowship since it was first handed out in 1983 is quite extensive. [See below.] BFI Fellows include not only Britishers, but also numerous foreigners who have somehow or […]


Bette Davis Movies: 'The Corn Is Green' & 'The Old Maid'

Miriam Hopkins, Bette Davis, The Old Maid Bette Davis, Warner Bros.' top female box office attraction from the mid-'30s to the late '40s, is Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” performer-of-the-day this Wednesday, August 3. TCM will be presenting 12 Bette Davis movies, in addition to the 2005 documentary […]


'The Little Foxes' Movie Review: Bette Davis Heads Superb Cast in Masterful Classic

The Hands That Bilked America: To not choose the revolutionary Citizen Kane as the Best Motion Picture of 1941 is to commit an unforgivable act of cinematic sacrilege. Courageously (or perhaps madly), I dare to choose another film: William Wyler's retelling of Lillian Hellman's scathing attack on American Family Values […]


Greer Garson: Best Actress Oscar Nominations Record Tie

Greer Garson ca. early 1940s. Greer Garson: Multiple Best Actress Oscar nominee on TCM Greer Garson received no less than six Best Actress Academy Award nominations during a seven-year span (1939-1945). The Oscar record of MGM's First Lady of the 1940s is only matched by that of Warner Bros.' First […]


Bette Davis Best Actress Snub Changed Academy Award Rules

Bette Davis in John Cromwell's Of Human Bondage Steven Spielberg, Barbra Streisand, Leonardo DiCaprio, Audrey Hepburn, Gordon Willis, Christopher Nolan The Director, and James Cameron The Screenwriter have all faced major Oscar “snubs,” but those have been nothing compared to what took place in early 1935. Even if James Cameron […]


Christmas Movies: The Good, the Bad & the Weird - From Bette Davis & Gary Cooper to Santa Claus & Serial Killers

Christmas movies on TCM: Black Christmas with Olivia Hussey. Considering the image above and the gory goings-on at its sorority house setting, perhaps “Red Christmas” would have been a more appropriate title for Bob Clark's 1974 slasher cult classic. Olivia Hussey never quite became a major film star, but she […]


'Fade Out Fade In': Racial Tensions & Hollywood Mansions + Right-Wing Pro-War Propaganda

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. Set in the transitional 1960s, “Fade Out, Fade In” is the next episode of the TCM miniseries Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood. Directed by Stanley Kramer, whose career took off in the post-World War II years, […]


Bette Davis, Anne Bancroft, Richard Attenborough, Rosalind Russell: Columbia Classics' On-Demand DVDs

Bette Davis outdoes Joan Crawford in the slapping department in the 1956 drama Storm Center, in which Davis plays a librarian concerned about civil liberties Following the lead of Time Warner, Sony Pictures has started the distribution of on-demand DVDs of rare (or somewhat rare) classics and not-so-classics found in […]


Roy Ward Baker Dies: Directed Marilyn Monroe & Bette Davis + 'Titanic' Movie 'A Night to Remember'

Marilyn Monroe, Don't Bother to Knock. Roy Ward Baker, best known for directing Marilyn Monroe in her first dramatic lead, Don't Bother to Knock (1952), opposite Richad Widmark and Anne Bancroft; for the well-regarded 1958 Titanic drama A Night to Remember, starring Kenneth More; and for handling an eyepatched Bette […]


Kristen Stewart & Zac Efron Oscar Presenters, 'Mystery Buyer' Returns Bette Davis Oscar

Kristen Stewart: Oscar presence to boost TV ratings? Kristen Stewart & Zac Efron, Taylor Lautner & Miley Cyrus: Oscar presenters Kristen Stewart, Zac Efron, Taylor Lautner, and Miley Cyrus have been added to the roster of presenters at the 2010 Oscar ceremony. This will be Efron and Cyrus' second appearance […]


Sandra Bullock Top Box Office Star & The Unreliability of Such Polls

“… Far and away the biggest-grossing movie with a female as its sole main player, which is certainly a challenge to conventional Hollywood assumptions (men can star alone, while women need a co-star of either sex).” That's Sandra Bullock in the 2009 football drama The Blind Side, right? Wrong. Film […]


Douglas Fairbanks Jr. + Monty Woolley & Mary Wickes: Christmas Cheer & Horror Mix at Packard

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in The Prisoner of Zenda 1937. The son of silent screen superstar Douglas Fairbanks and a middle-league – and generally lackluster – leading man in the first half of the 1930s, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was at his very best as the villainous Rupert of Hentzau in John […]


Bette Davis, Barbara Steele & 'Alien': Library of Congress Packard Campus' Fall Series

Oscar winners, horror movies, and silent shorts are all part of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation's fall film series in Culpeper, Va., starting Oct. 8. Among the Oscar winners is best actress Bette Davis in Jezebel (1938), William Wyler's classic romantic melodrama that was Warner […]


Claude Rains Movies: Outstanding Studio Era Actor

Claude Rains, one of the finest actors of the studio era – in fact, one of the finest film actors of the 20th century – is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of September. What would I recommend? Well, whether on TCM or on DVD or on VHS or […]


Miriam Hopkins Films

An early photo of Miriam Hopkins. Photos in this article: courtesy of Allan Ellenberger Miriam Hopkins, one of the most underrated performers of the studio era, will have her “Summer Under the Stars” day on Thursday, August 20, 2009. Turner Classic Movies will present fourteen Miriam Hopkins films, including one […]


Bette Davis Films

No rare Bette Davis flicks on her Turner Classic Movies' “Summer Under the Stars” day, Saturday, Aug. 8. That's too bad, as TCM now has access to Columbia's film library. They could have unearthed Davis' early Columbia flick The Menace (1931), which isn't very good, but it's rare and it's […]


Bette Davis 'Dark Victory' Screening: Classic Tearjerker

The Bette Davis vehicle and 1939 Best Picture nominee Dark Victory will be screened as the next feature in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' series “Hollywood's Greatest Year: The Best Picture Nominees of 1939” on Monday, June 15, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater […]


Jane Bryan

Jane Bryan, who played ingenues in several Warner Bros. productions of the late 1930s, died on April 8 at her home in Pebble Beach, California, following a long illness. She was 90. The Los Angeles-born (on June 11, 1918) Jane O'Brien had her name changed to Jane Bryan after landing […]


Zac Efron & Robert Pattinson + Sophia Loren & Vanessa Hudgens: The Oscars + Kate Winslet Breaks Bette Davis Record?

Zac Efron Werner Herzog Slumdog Millionaire composer A.R. Rahman, Sairaa Rahman Robert Pattinson, Edward Cullen in the Twilight movie franchise. Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington Photos: Bryan Crowe / © A.M.P.A.S. James Franco, Ahna O'Reilly Natalie Portman Jochen Alexander Freydank Milk filmmaker Gus Van Sant, Anne Kronenberg Photos: Jon Didier / […]


Oscar Luncheon: Amy Adams & Marisa Tomei + Kate Winslet Lead or Supporting + Did Bette Davis Name the Oscars?

Oscar Luncheon: Amy Adams signs autographs. In movies since 1999, Oscar Luncheon attendee Amy Adams has to date been nominated for two Best Supporting Actress Academy Awards: for Phil Morrison's Junebug (2005) and, this year, for John Patrick Shanley's psychological drama Doubt, in which she plays a Catholic nun opposite Meryl […]


Miriam Hopkins Biography: Q&A with Allan Ellenberger

Remembering Miriam Hopkins Although relatively forgotten and, when remembered, usually dismissed as a second-rate talent (quite possibly by those who have never seen her on film), Miriam Hopkins was actually a highly capable performer who worked with some of the most renowned directors in Hollywood history – Rouben Mamoulian, Ernst […]


B Film Noir Actress More Frightening Than Bette Davis? + The Savage Doppelgänger

B film noir Detour with Tom Neal and Ann Savage, looking more like your usual femme fatale. In the U.K., the Monthly Film Bulletin reviewer thoroughly dismissed Detour – but not Ann Savage – writing, “This very poor story has little to commend it. It tries the unusual by interspersing […]


Femme Fatale Ann Savage: 'Detour' Actress Labeled 'Meanest Woman in Film History'

Detour with femme fatale Ann Savage and Tom Neal. Ann Savage's film career was all but over by the early 1950s, and so was that of her Detour leading man Tom Neal[1]. Never an A-list – or even a B-list – actor, in the early '50s the former boxer was […]


Bette Davis Celebration

Celebrating Bette Davis' centennial, the Film Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting the series “Fasten Your Seat Belts: The Essential Bette Davis,” which began on May 1, with the unveiling of a new US Postal Service stamp in the presence of Turner Classic Movies host […]


Olivia de Havilland, Joan Leslie, Michael York Photos: Bette Davis Centennial Tribute

Photos: Todd Wawrychuk / ©A.M.P.A.S. (Joan Leslie and Olivia de Havilland photos), Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S. (all other photos) Click on the photos to enlarge them Centennial Tribute to Bette Davis Photos - Part I The Little Foxes original poster and, to the right, Bette Davis memorabilia Joan Leslie Robert […]


Bette Davis Centennial Tribute Photos

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in association with the Film Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, presented “A Centennial Tribute to Bette Davis” on Thursday, May 1, 2008, in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The event, hosted by film historian and […]


Bette Davis Centennial Tribute

Bette Davis in Dangerous. Although I can't say that Bette Davis is one my favorite actresses, in my view several of her performances rank among the greatest ever seen on film. Those range from the cool (The Little Foxes) and the calculating (The Letter) to the campy (Beyond the Forest) […]


Julianne Moore & Eddie Redmayne + Bette Davis: BFI Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

April 4 Tom Kalin's Savage Grace, starring Julianne Moore, Stephen Dillane, and Eddie Redmayne, focuses on a dysfunctional family that includes a much-too-doting mother, a gay son, and his unaccepting father. Kalin is expected to attend the screening. “Fresh from its world premiere at this year's Berlin Film Festival, this […]


Bette Davis DVD Set: From 'The Old Maid' to 'Deception'

The Bette Davis Collection Vol. 3, a DVD box set consisting of six Davis vehicles, will be released on April 1. The six films are The Old Maid (1939), All This and Heaven Too (1940), The Great Lie (1941), In This Our Life (1942), Watch on the Rhine (1943), and […]


Sex Education Film Class + Bette Davis Tribute & the Evolution of Russian Cinema

Sex education film The Irresponsibles. The British Film Institute's “The Joy of Sex Education” – to be presented at London's bfi Southbank – consists of a series of British-made sex education film productions throughout the decades, from World War I to the post-Sexual Revolution 1970s. Topics range from, inevitably, sexually transmitted diseases […]


Vincent Sherman Dead at 99: Directed Bette Davis, Joan Crawford

Vincent Sherman dead at 99: Director guided Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino (image: Bette Davis in 'Mr. Skeffington') Vincent Sherman, the director of glossy Warner Bros. star vehicles of the '40s and early '50s for the likes of Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino, and Ann Sheridan, died of […]


Henry Farrell: 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?' Author Dies

Author Henry Farrell, whose Grand Guignol tales What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? were successfully adapted for the screen in the 1960s, died after a long illness on March 29 at his home in Pacific Palisades. He was 85. The California-born (Sep. 27, […]


Bette Davis Movies DVD

Bette Davis DVD Collection: Dark Victory, The Letter and more Bulging eyes, sly looks, clipped line delivery, and assorted mannerisms – that would be a fair description of an average Bette Davis performance. At her best, however, Davis is all that plus guts, strength, and heart-stopping sincerity and pathos. Some […]