Sunday, 31 October 2010

Happy Halloween

Hello everybody, sorry for the very brief random post yesterday. I was in a rush and just wanted to post the photos. Halloween is very much here, but I have to say that in Britain compared to when I lived in America, there isn't much joyful festive-ness :-(.
Here is a post about a thriller from one of my favourite directors, Alfred Hitchcock.

Rear Window

Cast:

Plot:
L.B. Jeffries is a risk taking photographer who's risks led him to a near fatal accendent. He is wheelchair ridden for a few months. His girlfriend Lisa comes to visit him every day, but he is convinced that she isn't tough enough to be the wife of an undercover photographer. Along with Lisa, his lovely maid Stella comes and looks after him. Together they try to uncover the mystery of the suspicious looking man across from his apartment, and the even more suspicious dissapearing of his wife...

The Review:
This petrified my the first time I saw it and still does after the 3rd time. Afred Hitchcock never ceases to amaze me with his genius. A definate thrill to watch. Grace's dresses are
simply magnificent and so is James Stewart's acting, as usual. Edith Head, who designed the costumes has boosted herself even higher in my books. If that's possible.

As for my halloween costume, I put on a red wig to look like Maureen O'Hara,
but instead I look like Bette Davis as Mrs. Skeffington. Such craziness is my everyday life.
~Bette

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Some Cute Photos To Brighten Your Day

Ingrid Bergman in a very red dress

Jimmy Stewart and his kids

Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland singing together
Bette Davis and her dog on the set of The Letter
Hope you liked them!
~Bette

Thursday, 28 October 2010

One Two Three CRACK! New Egg

Hey ya'll, I have been having quite an interesting couple of days as you may know, and yesterday to top it all off I drove my boat into a tree. But'cha know, that is all made up for when you can come home after the last day (thank god) of my sailing course and find pictures of Greer Garson, Walter Pigeon and Bette Davis together.
Bette presents and ecstatic Greer the Red Book Award
Today I'm going to review Sabrina (1953), but first I have to just do a photos with quotes from The Goodbye Girl (1977) from Marsha Mason's on screen daughter in the film. Who obsesses over Gene Kelly and old movies. She reminds me of myself! HA! She has a poster of James Dean on her
 bedroom wall.

(Paula’s doing situps…)
Paula: Oh…oh that’s all, I can’t do anymore.

Lucy: 60! You said 60!

Paula: Uh, my muscles are gone…I can’t dance.  It was a dumb idea.  I’m going to put you up for adoption.
…Oh, get your old mother a coke.

Lucy: Uh, uh, fattening!
Paula: Get me the coke.
Mother doesn’t want to beat the crap out of you!
Lucy:…No willpower.


Cast:
Plot:
(I didn't intend to stoop as low as to have to copy and paste from Wikipedia, and I had written an amazing plot summary but my computor died and I lost it!)


Sabrina Fairchild (Hepburn) is the young daughter of the Larrabee family's chauffeur, Thomas (John Williams), and has been in love with David Larrabee (Holden) all her life. David is an oft-married, idle playboy, crazy for women, who has never noticed Sabrina, much to her and the staff's dismay. Sabrina then attends culinary school in Paris and returns as an attractive and sophisticated woman.
When Sabrina arrives, David doesn't recognise her.
Walter Hampden (All About Eve, The Aged Actor) as David Larrabee's father
David, after initially not recognizing her, is quickly drawn to her. David's workaholic older brother Linus (Bogart) sees this and fears that David's imminent wedding with a very rich woman may be endangered. If the wedding were to be canceled, so would a great corporate deal with the bride's family. So Linus tries to redirect Sabrina's affections, and in the process falls in love with her.
The "Yes, We Have No Bananas scene dubbed in Italian. I can't find it in English. It makes me laugh though! And here is the same song sung by the swedish chef from The Muppet Show.
Audrey Hepburn dusts Linus' "Yes, we have no bananas" record
The ending contains Sabrina leaving for Paris on a boat, after Linus has told her to leave and never come back. In a board meeting, realizing his mistake, he manages to get on the boat, and they sail away together to Paris.

The Review:
This is without a doubt one of my favourite films ever. The script by Billy Wilder is just amazing and genius. I love Audrey Hepburn in this film, it is just so uplifting. I admire the ludicrus chef who teaches Audrey to boil water and crack eggs, and if I ever study cooking at as high a level (not gonna happen) I want him as my teacher! Go this movie!!!!!!!!

~Bette
P.S. I found this photo earlier today, I love it!
Bette Davis at what looks like age 14? She is sooo pretty.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Ha, Ha, Ha... What To Do With Mother!

Title quote ~  The Lion In Winter (1968)I love The Lion In Winter and Katharine Hepburn, and today I just felt like posting some quotes and photos as sailing for 4 hours in force 4-5 (windy) wind has knocked all of the creative flair out of me. I don't even have the strength to recite the "woman's career" monolouge from All About Eve (just joking, but maybe in 35 years!). 

Thats how cold I am. Its just one of those days where I have decided that everything should be in large font.
"I know. You know I know. I know you know I know. We know Henry knows, and Henry knows we know it. We’re a knowledgeable family."~ Katherine Hepburn, The Lion In Winter
Dahling, I told you NOT TO DISTURB ME!!!
Wow, she looks even grumpier than Bette!
Bette Davis with a bow and arrow just being awesome. As usual.
Bette Davis, Frank Capra and William Wyler on the set of what looks like The Letter. They look so H-A-P-P-Y :-D
I have a serious case of Katherine Hepburn hair envy!!!! Grrrr.


~Bette

Monday, 25 October 2010

Classic Movie Book Analysis: My Judy Garland Life

I finished this book about a month ago, but for one reason or another I haven't had a chance (or have been too busy blogging about my classic movie watching endeavours) to review it. Before I write anything more classic movie related, I have a few Bette (me, not Miss. Davis. But a gal can dream can't she?) news bulletins:
  • From tomorrow until Thursday I have a sailing course (eek!). I am very exited because I really do adore sailing, but the last time I did one I got trapped under my boat. I was petrified, but I got over it very fast and was back on my boat racing! But long story short, I will be quite cold.
  • I have truck loads of homework to do over this week (half term for me) and won't be able to blog as much *sigh*. Oh well, I'll probably squeeze in a bit of rambling here and there.
So, with my narcissism over, here is my very thoughtful analysis of My Judy Garland Life By Susie Boyt.


My Judy Garland Life:

This book is basically Susie Boyt's tribute to her favourite movie star. She is, I think, the biggest hero worshiper I have come across, EVAH! Picture me writing My Bette Davis Life times 1000. Yes, that bad. The whole book is a mesh of her memoirs and Judy Garland's, and it works really well. I should probably tell you about Susie before I continue

Susie Boyt

Career/s: Author, Bereavement Councillor
Occupation: (At the time of the book's publication) Judy Garland WORSHIPER!
Hobbies: Cooking, Singing, Finding "Judy friends" (people who obsess over Judy Garland)
Interesting facts: She is the daughter of Lucian Freud the painter.
My Thoughts On Her: She is a very sweet and thoughtful woman who has what I would call a hero-worshiper complex. In a good way.

BACK TO THE ANALYSIS (IT SOUNDS SO MUCH MORE POSH THAN REVIEW!)

I really enjoyed listening to her talk about all of the different ways that Judy has helped her through different stages of her life. From being a child of a broken home, to handling depression and bereavement. I have to say that it reminded me of a few times when watching a really special film has helped me. Even though this is quite minor, when I moved to Chicago (we lived there for a year) when I was two, all the way through the move, I wouldn't stop watching The Wizard Of Oz. Whenever I'm feeling really down, I order my family to gather on the sofa and watch a Bette Davis movie. I feel better afterward. But we are talking about Susie watching The Judy Garland show for weeks on end without doing anything else. There are lots of emotional parts like when she goes to Judy's grave, but they are nicely balanced by humorous anecdotes.

The Verdict:
I find it pretty awesome that she managed to meet Liza Minnelli and Mickey Rooney for the book, and it is definitely a worthwhile read. The only criticism that I had was that some of the chapters were so emotionally rambling that I wanted to skip parts, but maybe my understanding of that will come for me with age.

GOOD POINTS:
I like Susie and Judy, and Bette Davis is in Judy Garland's address book

BAD POINTS:
I thought it was quite disturbing that she only had pictures of Judy and her family in her room and none of her family.

Hope ya'll liked the review!

~Bette

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Classic Movie Survey From Amanda @ A Noodle In A Haystack

Here is a survey from the wonderful Amanda of A Noodle In A Haystack.

1. What is your favourite movie starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, excluding all of The Thin Man films?
Ummm, I don't think I've seen any other than The Thin Man, but I love that.
2. Name a screen team that appeared in only one film together but are still noteworthy for how well they complimented each other.
Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon (Some Like It Hot). The are funny beyond words.
3. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' best film together?
It's shameful, but I haven't seen any!
4. Your favourite actor named "Robert"?
Robert Redford
5. An actor/actress who, when you see one of their movies, you always wish that someone else was in his/her role?
I have two movies where I wish the lead was being played by someone else: Julie Andrews in Star! and  Olivia Newton John in Grease (I know its not really an oldie, but I just don't like her.)
6. An actor/actress that someone close to you really loves that you can't stand or vice versa?
They don't like James Mason, but I love him!
7. An actor/actress that you both agree on completely?
Richard Burton. We both adore him.
8. Complete this sentence: Virginia O'Brien is to Ethel Merman as...
I haven't the foggiest.
9. What is your favourite film starring Ray Milland?
Dial M For Murder
10. You had to have seen this one coming: what is your favorite movie of the 1960s?
AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH! Funny Girl and The Odd Couple tie.
11. An actor/actress that you would take out of one film and put into a different movie that was released the same year?
You ask the hardest questions.
12. Who was your favourite of Robert Montgomery's leading ladies?
I don't know... He has a strange mouth. I think Bette Davis was his leading lady once, but I haven't seen the film.
13. You think it would have been a disaster if what movie starred the actor/actress who was originally asked to star in it?
All About Eve if Marlene Dietrich had been cast as Margo Channing. Try saying "Remind me to tell you about the time I looked into the heart of an artichoke," in a Marlene accent. You can't.
14. An actor/actress who you will watch in any or almost any movie?
Bette Davis and James Stewart
15. Your favorite Leslie Howard film and role?
I haven't seen any other than Gone With The Wind (*cough* Christmas *cough*), but from what I have read and heard, The Petrified Forest.
16. You have been asked to host a marathon of four Barbara Stanwyck films. Which ones do you choose?
Double Indemnity, The Lady Eve, The Miracle Worker and Golden Boy.
17. What is, in your mind, the nearest to perfect comedy you have ever seen? Why?
The Odd Couple. It is the epitome of Jewish comedy and the whole thing is just perfection. It features exchanges such as:
Felix: You mean you want me to leave this minute?
Oscar: Yes this minute if you could do it sooner I would appreciate it!
Felix: So in other words your throwing me out?
Oscar: Not in other words those are the perfect ones!
18. You will brook no criticism of what film?
All About Eve. There is nothing to criticise.
19. Who is your favourite Irish actress?
Maureen O'Hara. She is so spunky!
20. Your favourite 1940s movie starring Ginger Rogers?
Pass.
21. Do you enjoy silent movies?
I love Charlie Chaplin!
22. What is your favourite Bette Davis film?
All About Eve and Now Voyager. I love all of them, it is so hard to chose!
23. Your favourite onscreen Hollywood couple?
Fred Astaire and Judy garland.
24. This one is for the girls, but, of course, the guys are welcome to answer, too: who is your favorite Hollywood costume designer?
Edith Head
25. To even things out a bit, here's something the boys will enjoy: what is your favorite tough action film?
As far as they go for me, it's The Great Escape!
26. You are currently gaining a greater appreciation for which actor(s)/actress(es)?
Katharine Hepburn.
27. Franchot Tone: yes or no?
I don't know, but he was married to Joan Crawford so that's enough to make me say no.
28. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are underrated?
Doris Day. Have you seen The Man Who Know Too Much?
29. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are overrated?
Katharine Hepburn, even though I love her in my own way.
30. Favourite actor?
James Stewart
31. Favourite actress?
Bette Davis
32. Of those listed, who is the coolest: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, or Patrick Stewart?
Steve McQueen and Robert Redford.
33. What is your favorite movie from each of these genres:

Comedy:
The Odd Couple
Swashbuckler:
The Princess bride
Film noir:
Double Indemnity
Musical:
Singing In The Rain
Holiday:
Meet Me In St. Louis
Hitchcock:
Rear Window and North By Northwest.

I hope you liked it, thanks Amanda! 

~Bette

Friday, 22 October 2010

Autumnal Bliss

I'm doing a guest post for my best Internet-friend Libby at Catching The Stars  and its all about Autumn and classic movies. Here is what I did.

 Autumn And The Movies
I'm sure there are lots of movies set in the autumn, but whenever I try to think of any, I can only think of a few. The one that has the most association with autumn for me, is Meet Me In St. Louis (1944). The film is about The Smiths, a lovely New England family that go through the normal troubles of every day middle-class life in 1904. The film shows the goings on the the family through from spring to Christmas. The cast is as follows:

"If I like a you and you like a me and we like a both the same! I'd like to stay this very way, under the bamboo tree!"
Ok, So I will just do a quick plot summary. Esther Smith is the second eldest sister of the Smith family. She is in love with the "boy next door", but he doesn't know she exists. Her elder sister, Rose, is expecting her sweetheart to propose to her over the newly discovered "telephone *squeal of excitement*", but he only talks to her about how it is "LIKE THEY"RE IN THE NEXT ROOM!" she replies with "WHAT DID YOU SAY?" Esther's romance with the boy next door is going nowhere fast, after he said to her on their first meeting "That perfume smells just like the kind my grandmother would wear," and, "You got a mighty strong grip for a girl!" Whilst all of this romance is going on, their five year old sister, Tootie (the adorable Margaret O'Brien) rides around on the ice wagon and causes mayhem. They all get the shock of their lives when they find out that their father has decided to take a job in New York.



Mary Astor, who is best remembered for her role as Brigid O'Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon (1941), Is lovely as the mother of Judy Garland and her siblings (although she is really too young to play the mother of young adult children), and she is so lovely ;-). But she still lets them go out, on their own to throw flower bombs at people on Halloween. The main reason that this reminds me of Autumn is the said Halloween sequence were all of these unsupervised 10 year old children have a huge bonfire (health hazard or what?)!
And Tootie, dresses up as a dead man with a Charlie Chaplin mustache. She wants to throw a chair into the bonfire (!), but all the older children tell her to go away 'cause she's too little. She makes a deal with them, if she throws a flower bomb in Mr. Broughcoff's (is that how you spell it?) face. Mr. Broughcoff is the scariest man in town, and according to rumor, he branded his wife with a red hot poker! But he is really a sweet middle aged man, who is scared the daylights out of when Tootie screams "I hate you Mr. Broughcoff!" and throws a flower bomb in is face.
Beautiful house
There is only one other reference to Autumn that comes to mind, and that is in All About Eve (1950) when Celest Holm as Karen Richards declares that "Loyd always says that in the theatre a lifetime is a season and a season a lifetime. It must have been last October." But it isn't really an autumny movie just my fabourite one, and I reccomend it to all of you!
Karen is the one in the mink, not the mousy one with the trench coat and funny hat.

~Bette

Brings A Tear To Your Eye...

I L-O-V-E this video recorded on the Judy Garland show with Barbra Striesand and Judy Garland, my two favourite artists belting out a duet together. I nearly cried first time I saw it, but that's sentimental me for you. I hope you like it as much as I did!




~Bette
P.S. It's Joan Fontaine's birthday today, so happy birthday! Keep going, 93 is amazing!

Joanna Fontanna is in da house!
Here is a random photo that someone edited on tumblr, but I think it's kinda funny to see Joan Fontaine funky dancing!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

A Woman Is Beautiful When She Is Loved, And Only Then.

Sorry to be on such a Bette Davis rampage at the moment, I seem to be watching her movies more than anyone else's now. I find them very comforting, even though in most of them she is a murderess or a "Femme Fatale"! So today I will review Mr. Skeffington. I came home from a long day today, I had been doing a thing in school called "The Real game" where we all had to do things like work out taxes and grocery shopping. First we did something called "The Dream List" and we cut out our favourite living items from the special leaflet and wrote their costs per month. My list was like this:
  1. Period Converted Farmhouse, £1,400 a month
  2. Classic Car from the 50s, £200 a month
  3. State Of The Art Laptop, £175 a month
  4. Mobile Phone, £30 a month
The list went on. Although my wishes didn't total up to as much as my friends, it was quite a lot. I was then given my job. Estate Agent. I was less than thrilled. I had to move from the Period Farmhouse to a studio apartment to pay off my debts. At the end of the morning they asked each of us what we wanted to be. When they came to me I said "Well I have two very different options. An actess, or a social anthropologist." My teacher said, "What about an acting social anthropologist?" I replied "It's a way to go!"

Mr. Skeffington 

Cast:
  • Bette Davis as Frances Beatrice 'Fanny' Trellis Skeffington
  • Claude Rains as Job Skeffington
  • Walter Abel as George Trellis, Fanny's cousin
  • Richard Waring as Trippy Trellis, Fanny's brother
  • Marjorie Riordan as Fanny Rachel Trellis, Fanny and Job's daughter as an adult
  • Robert Shayne as MacMahon, a local gangster
  • John Alexander as Jim Conderley, one of Fanny's four persistent suitors
  • Jerome Cowan as Edward Morrison, one of Fanny's four persistent suitors
  • Peter Whitney as Chester Forbish, one of Fanny's four persistent suitors
  • Bill Kennedy as Bill Thatcher, one of Fanny's four persistent suitors
  • Johnny Mitchell as Johnny Mitchell, a younger suitor of Fanny's who later marries her daughter. Born Douglas N. Lamy, this actor changed his name to that of his character.
  • George Coulouris as Doctor Byles
  • Dorothy Peterson as Manby, Fanny's housekeeper
"Would you mind moving your chin an inch to the left, George, Manby spent an hour on these curls!"
(Yes, Bette has about 6 leading men, as well as being in love with her brother.)

Plot:
Awkward silence...
Fanny Trellis (Bette Davis) is the toast of New York with men proposing to her in bunches. After her parents' death, her brother Trippy insisted on being in charge of the estate. After he had wasted away their fortune that, to quote Fanny Trellis in the film, "Was a legend, but now it's a myth!", he started in on the wealth of his employer, Mr. Job (pronounced Jobe) Skeffington (Claude Rains). Mr. Skeffington was a jewish stockbroker, and Trippy once said "I don't like him, or his type." Trippy had created a group of fictional charactors that he claimed had made orders to him, but they were all ridiculously fake (Job said in the film "Well, he does show a great talent for choosing odd names and places!") and it turned out that he had stolen $50,000 from the company.  She marries Mr. Skeffington to save Trippy (who I think she was secretely in love with), but that does nothing to help Trippy emotionally, and he leaves to fight in the First World War for France. The fact that Fanny is married does nothing to discourage her suitors, who all try to "rescue' her from Mr. Skeffington. She has a baby, but the baby (who was also named Fanny) loves her father more than her vain mother. They get news that Trippy is dead, and Fanny is convinced that Job killed him, as he was fighting in the war also, and Fanny doesn't know a thing about politics! She says that the only reason that she married Job was to help Trippy, and now she only has Job. They divorce, but the young Fanny wants to live with her father in the traditional Jewish way in Europe. There is a devistateingly sad scene in a resteraunt with her and Job (here is the link). Fanny sufferes from diphtheria, and her looks are ruined forever.


HUGE, MASSIVE PLOT SPOILER (SCROLL DOWN IF YOU WANT TO SAVE IT AS A SURPRISE!)

Job comes back to her at the end of WWII after being in a concentration camp. When she finds out that he is blind, she developes a special affection for him, and they live happily ever after.

The Review:
This film is like a Sunset Boulevard 5 years ahead of its time. Bette's make-up just screames Baby Jane Hudson from Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?. The only problem I have with her performance is that, no matter how beautiful she is in her own way, you don't really believe that there would be 20 men surrounding her on a porch (this happens in one scene!). She does her best to make a ridiculous character come to life, and it works. I have to say, the better performance comes from Claude Rains, who makes me cry. It is very well written and scored. Bette's performance sort of reminds me of Meryl Streep at her best (I am not a hardcore Streep fan), and the whole soprano speaking voice and blinking of the eyes reminds me of her in Julie and Julia. I know that Bette really loved Meryl Streep, and sent her a letter saying that she was very proud of her, and that she hopes that they might work together some time. Meryl, a woman after my own heart, is a Bette Davis fanatic, and was more than chuffed, and said on her Turner Classic Movies tribute to Miss Davis said "As far as I was concerened, she had been working with me ever since I was a little girl. She had been building my confidence and inspiring me as long as I can remember." Or something like that anyway. If I used a rating system, this film would get 3 out of 5 stars.


Before I leave you, I just have to marvel a while at Bette's hair. It is all straight and then PHUFF! Grrrr. I wish I had the determination to sleep in rollers like she did.
Notice she even smokes whilst in a phone booth.
~Bette

Monday, 18 October 2010

My New Other-Blog!

Just to let you know, that I have started up another blog. This one will be dedicated to classic movie photos and the like. The address is its-going-to-be-a-bumpy-night.blogspot.com. Please follow me! To quote Eve Harrington, "Don't feel for a moment that I am leaving you. My heart belongs in the theatre, and i'll be back to claim it. That is, if you want me back!". Although I am not leaving the theatre, or at all in fact, My classic movie blog (this one) will still be the one I post most on.
Check out the soooo cool autumn Bette davis.
~Bette

Sunday, 17 October 2010

It's Like Waves Of Love Coming Over The Footlights...

So far, this is only my second post fully dedicated to All About Eve, which is surprising because it is my favourite film, and is definitely the one I know most about. Thanks to Sam Staggs' book All About "All About Eve" (which I have read many times), I know all about its psychological meanings, on set romances, rivalries and bitchy remarks. Astonishingly, after reading all about the film's chaotic filming schedule and all of the nasty comments that Bette Davis made to Celeste Holm, I don't start to hate the film or its stars, I love them more. Ok. So this post I am going to dedicate to Bette Davis' off screen relationships with her cast and crew. But before I do, here is a clip from one of the most famous scenes from Eve to give yo a feel of it if you haven't seen it before, and remind you if you have.



Cast:

Bette Davis and Celest Holm:

Bette Davis and Celest Holm didn't get on. From the first morning on set when Celest Holm greeted Bette with a "Good morning!" And Bette, cuddled up with Gary, (see Bette Davis and Gary Merrill) said "Oh sh*t. Good manners." Obviously, this was not the most charming response to such a remark, but you have to understand Bette's situation. She had an abusive husband that she was in the middle of a sticky divorce with, a boyfriend that had a Doris Day look-alike wife and a career stuck in the doldrums. If I was in that situation and Celest Holm (who irritates me so much that no words can describe) came up to me in her angelic way and said "Good morning!", I probably would not have been completely thrilled. When they were filming the scene in "The Cub Room", there was a lull in the filming process and to fill the silence Celeste said "Did you know that when the man who manufactures Pyrex, found out that people where using those Pyrex kettles to make martinis in, he stopped making them?" Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlow chuckled lightly. Bette waited for the laughter to stop. She then looked from Hugh to Gary, then lowered her eyes for effect and drawled "Really I don't know how I could have lived This long without knowing that."


Bette Davis and Anne Baxter:

Bette Davis and Anne Baxter had a wonderful relationship, despite the fact that they were playing arch Nemesis's in the film. In the late 1970s while towling herself dry at Anne's house, Bette discovered a lump in her breast. Anne Baxter was one of Bette's few close friends outside of her family along with Olivia De Havvilland, and Mary Astor.


Bette Davis and Edith Head:

Edith Head designed Bette's wardrobe for the film, but no one Else's. They had a very good working relationship, and one of my favourite costume-department behind the scenes anecdote shows Bette's thoughtfulness and sweetness that Sam Staggs was keen to hide in his book.

Bette Davis looked at herself quizzically in the mirror as she modeled her dress for the all important cocktail party scene (clip above). The scene was due to be shot in about ten minutes time. Someone had measured the top half of the dress all wrong, and from the waist up, the dress just flopped around helplessly about Bette's shoulders. Edith was devastated. "Don't worry, as costume designer, I'll take all the credit for the fiasco." Edith steadied herself and headed for the door, when Bette exclaimed "WAIT! Turn around and look, Edith." She had slipped the dress off her shoulders and the dress hung beautifully. It was a perfect fit. Edith hugged her and started to stitch it into place.


Bette Davis and Gary Merrill:
Bette Davis and Gary Merrill fell in love at the moment they met. From then on it was Bette and Gary against the world. Or the rest of the cast and crew, anyway. Although it was her longest marraige at ten years, it turned nasty towards the end. After they adopted two children, Micheal and Margot Merrill, and Gary adopted B.D. Davis, he started to turn alcoholic and Bette filed for divorce. Margot was disabled and is still institutionalized to his very day.


Bette Davis and Joseph L. Mankeiwicz:


Joseph M. whith Katharine Hepburn on the set of Suddenly Last Summer
They had a pretty stable working experience and had lots of good ideas together. When Bette downs her martini, heads for the staircase and waits before speaking the immortal line, "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night!", she said it was to "show the audience that she was collecting more venom." Well, whether it was for that purpose or just for emphasis, it was all her idea. After her stroke of genius they had a conversation that went like this:


Joseph M: I'm still waiting for you to start directing the picture. Eddie Goulding (Bette's director in lots of her films) thinks your a "hideous creature."
Bette D: (Deep laugh. Tosses head back.) Mr. Goulding is a genius movie maker. But he also liked to act. He would act out your part for you. And I was difficult because we disagreed on almost everything. 90% of the time I thought that the way I was portraying the woman I was playing, was better than the way he was.

I hope you enjoyed my War And Peace post,
~Bette

Friday, 15 October 2010

Another Day, Another Movie

I have just read the funniest news story that I have ever read in my entire life. Here is a link to the story. Basically a woman dressed up as a tomato to boost healthy eating (or something) at a local council garden party, and the mayor walked along, thought "hmmm that tomato looks like a good thing to leapfrog over!" and whilst trying to jump over her, his knee caught her head and she suffered a slipped disc. She was given £24,000 as compensation!
Moral of the story: never dress up as a tomato for a council garden party. The mayor just might break your neck. Not that anyone will be doing that anytime soon. I hope. It reminded me of the conversation from Tootsie where Micheal Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) is begging his agent (Sydney Pollack) to get him a part in something, and his agent accuses him of being unreasonable. The conversation goes like this.

Agent: "I can't even put you up for a commercial! You played a Tomato for 30 seconds and they went a half a day over 'cause you wouldn't sit down!"
Micheal Dorsey: "Yes. It wasn't logical."
Agent: "YOU WERE A TOMATO! A TOMATO DOESN'T HAVE LOGIC! A TOMATO CAN"T MOVE!"
Micheal Dorsey: "That's what I said! How am I supposed to sit down! I was a juicy sexy beef stake tomato! I was the best eggplant, the best cucumber. I did a Waldorf salad that knocked the critics on their ass!"
Agent:"Micheal, I'm trying to stay calm here. You-you are... a wonderful actor."
Micheal Dorsey:"Thank You."
 Agent: "But you're too much trouble. Get some therapy."
Sydney Pollack and Dustin Hoffman dressed as a woman

One of the funniest movies ever made. I laugh just thinking about it. Dustin Hoffman dresses up as a woman to get a job as a hospital administrator in a hospital soap opera, and ends up falling for the woman who plays the nurse (Jessica Lang).

Here is today's review.

A Letter To Three Wives

Cast:
Plot:
Three typical American suburban housewives receive a letter addressed to the three of them from their "best friend" Addie Ross (Celest Holm voice-over, surprisingly, uncredited), saying that she has left town with one of their husbands, but doesn't say which one. The first wife, Deborah Bishop (Jeanne Crain) reacts with instant suspicion as we see her flashback. It shows her and her husband first meeting his friends Rita (Ann Sothern) and George Phipps (Kirk Douglas) and Lora Mea (Linda Darnell) and Brad Hollingsway (Jeffrey Lynn). They all make subtle references to Addie's "class", but no one says anything that might overtly lead to suspicion of an affair. The same thing happens to both other wives, but each husband has their own link to Addie.


The Review:
The DVD cover says "three very different marriages. One of convenience, one stable, and one filled with lies and suspicion," And it's dang right. Never have I seen such different marriages! My favourite wife is by far Ann Sothern, who vaguely reminds me of Agnes Moorhead. All the other actors (if anyone can tell who they are!) are very good. I love Kirk Douglas ("I am Spartacus!").
The film was directed and written by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and he won both of those Oscars that year. On the set of All About Eve he was waiting around for some rain to come so that Celest Holm could do her scene where she meets Eve: but it didn't come. So they set up some hoses, and got ready to start filming. Sat on a ladder, he called out "Ok, lets have the rain!" But before the prop men could turn on the hoses, clouds moved in and it started to rain. Ann Baxter (Eve Harrington, the villain of the story) said to Bette Davis (Margo Channing, the "hero" of the story)  "Even god has heard of Joe's two Oscars."

Here is a picture of Ann Sothern that is so far away from her in A Letter To Three Wives, that I found it quite strange.
~Bette