Feud 😒 Bette and Joan -Whatever Happened?

Feud

 

Bette Davis is at the top of my list of incredible actresses of classic film and her infamous relationship with Joan Crawford is legendary. So, when I heard Ryan Murphy’s 2017 series “Feud” was recreating their tumultuous battles in the film “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” I had to check it out. Susan Sarandon (Davis) and Jessica Lange (Crawford) bring back old Hollywood and pull back the layers of the complexity between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

 

 

Director Robert Aldrich’s cult classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” (1962) is brilliant! It’s not fair, but to the powers that be, women in Hollywood age but men are considered “salt n pepper” hot. Aldrich’s production capitalized on the star power of the “past their prime” celebrated divas and the result is a glimpse into the real-life feud between the stars.

 

Bette Davis (L) Joan Crawford (R)

 

Not to be too biased😄 but, Ms. Davis literally kicked Joan’s behind! Crawford was way over her head onscreen and off as Bette outperformed and out strategized her nemesis. Bette is my hero because she took on roles other actresses wouldn’t touch because of their image.

 

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Bette Davis in “Of Human Bondage”

 

She wasn’t afraid to go there and if the role required her to look unattractive she was game. An original in a class by herself, in “Of Human Bondage” (1934) her appearance was shocking to audiences of the time as she portrayed a callous woman dying of tuberculosis; not a pretty sight.

 

 

“What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” is a 1962 American psychological thriller-horror film produced and directed by Robert Aldrich, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, about an aging actress who holds her paraplegic sister captive in an old Hollywood mansion.

 

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Alfred Molina as Aldrich (L)   Robert Aldrich (R)

The screenplay by Lukas Heller is based on the 1960 novel of the same name by Henry Farrell. Upon the film’s release, it was met with widespread critical and box office acclaim and was later nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for Best Costume Design, Black and White. (Wikipedia)

 

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Bette Davis (L)  Joan Crawford (R)

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Susan Sarandon (L)  Jessica Lange (R)

In true Bette Davis fashion, she came up with her own makeup for the role. She said that Jane was someone who never washed her face but just added more makeup.

In “Whatever Happened…” The young neighbor was played by Davis’ daughter B. D. Merrill who, followed in the footsteps of Joan Crawford’s daughter Christina, and wrote a scathing memoir, “My Mother’s Keeper”, that depicted her mother in a harsh light. However, unlike Christina who waited until after Crawford’s death to publish “Mommie Dearest”, B.D. published hers in 1985 while Davis was still alive but in poor health.

 

"Feud"

B.D (Davis’ daughter-L)   Kiernan Shipka portrays B.D in “Feud”

 

It was an open secret that Davis and Crawford loathed each other, and filming was contentious as their real-life hatred for one another spilled over into the production, and even after filming had wrapped.

 

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The film’s success spawned a succession of horror/thriller films featuring psychotic older women, later dubbed the psycho-biddy subgenre, among them Aldrich’s Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice? and What’s the Matter with Helen?. It was parodied by the Italian comedy film What Ever Happened to Baby Toto? (Wikipedia)

Shaun Considine’s 1989 book Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud chronicles the actresses’ rivalry, including their experience shooting this film.

 

 

Both Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had incredible and challenging careers and personal lives. If I’ve peaked your interest and you’d like to learn more, check out this eye-opening documentary.

 

 

 

“All About Eve” Harrington is Back!

Fasten your seatbelts. … #AllAboutEve is coming to theatres

 

All About Eve

March 5th & 8th 2017

 

From the moment she glimpses her idol on Broadway, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) strives to upstage Margo Channing (Bette Davis). After cunningly stealing Margo’s role, Eve disrupts the lives of anyone close to the actress in this timeless cinematic masterpiece. With its witty dialogue and knockout performances, the film earned a record 14 Oscar nominations* and also features Marilyn Monroe in an early supporting role.

 

1950: Best Picture (won), Supporting Actor (George Sanders, won), Costume Design (B&W, won), Directing (won), Sound Recording (won), Screenplay (won), Actress (Anne Baxter), Actress (Bette Davis), Supporting Actress (Celeste Holm), Supporting Actress (Thelma Ritter), Art Direction (B&W), Cinematography (B&W), Film Editing, Music (Score).

The principal cast of All About Eve. (Left to right) Gary Merrill, Bette Davis, George Sanders, Anne Baxter, Hugh Marlowe and Celeste Holm

Bette Davis is one of my all time favorite actresses! Her style and attitude both on and offscreen are legendary. She didn’t take any stuff and could give it right back! (my kinda girl:) “All About Eve” (1950) showcases Ms. Davis in all her glory. Love her, or hate her, there’ll never be another one like her! My post “If it’s Sunday Breakout the Hankies” pays tribute to Ms. Davis and her outstanding film career.

 

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(Miss Joan Crawford was one of her fiercest rivals)

 

“All About Eve” is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It was based on the 1946 short story “The Wisdom of Eve” by Mary Orr, although screen credit was not given for it. (Wikipedia)

 

The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. Anne Baxter plays Eve Harrington, an ambitious young fan who insinuates herself into Channing’s life, ultimately threatening Channing’s career and her personal relationships. George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Barbara Bates, Gary Merrill, and Thelma Ritter also appear, and the film provided one of Marilyn Monroe‘s earliest important roles.

 

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Eve (Anne Baxter) Miss Casswell (Marilyn Monroe bottom center) Margo Channing (Bette Davis)

 

Praised by critics at the time of its release, “All About Eve” received 14 Academy Awards nominations (a feat only matched by the 1997 film “Titanic” and the 2016 film “La La Land”) and won six, including Best Picture. All About Eve is the only film in Oscar history to receive four female acting nominations (Davis and Baxter as Best Actress, Holm, and Ritter as Best Supporting Actress).

 

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“Titanic”, “All About Eve”, “La La Land”

 

This classic was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered. “All About Eve” appeared at #16 on AFI‘s 1998 list of the 100 best American films. (Wikipedia)

 

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A back screen documentary on “All About Eve.”

 

“All About Eve” is one big screen classic not to be missed! So, grab your tickets, a bag of popcorn, and “buckle your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!”

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See you at the Movies!

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