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Bette Davis

[5] Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart star in this overly-talky stage play adaptation about disparate characters whose lives intersect when a notorious criminal on the lam (Bogart) takes them all hostage at a gas station diner in the middle of the desert. Director Archie Mayo conjures terrific ambience with the dust-blown stage set, especially during the climactic shoot-out when the only light source …

[6] Lillian Gish and Bette Davis play aged sisters living in an old house on the coast of Maine. The sisters are civil, but disagreements light up over the subject of change. Gish’s character still has a lust for life and welcomes new neighbors and new ideas, while Davis’ character, blind and in need of care, resents visitors and change. The sisters contemplate whether or …

[7] Bette Davis stars as Charlotte Vale, a nervous young woman whose emotionally abusive mother (Gladys Cooper) causes her to submit herself to a sanitarium. Under the care of her doctor (Claude Rains), Charlotte begins to gain the confidence to stand up for herself and appreciate her self worth. On an ocean-liner cruise she meets a man named Jerry (Casablanca‘s Paul Henreid) and falls in …

[4] An American family moves into a British mansion with an old woman (Bette Davis) whose young daughter disappeared over thirty years ago. When the American family’s two daughters begin hearing and seeing things, it quickly becomes obvious that Davis’ daughter is trying to communicate with them through supernatural means. The mystery is so paper thin here, you’ll be ahead of the movie the whole …

[5] Bette Davis marries Errol Flynn and moves to San Francisco, but their happy marriage begins to disintegrate when he can’t support the couple and turns to drinking. It may be the writing more than the performances, but there’s not much chemistry between Flynn and Davis (who hated each other in real life). The film sticks primarily with Davis’ character, short-changing the subplots revolving around …

[6] Five ladies of ill repute muster the courage to take the stand against their evil nightclub boss in this Bette Davis vehicle. Davis overacts a tad (doesn’t she always?), but Humphrey Bogart is reliable in the role of the tenacious district attorney. This is an instance where I’d love to have seen some of the off-screen action, but the film works remarkably well under …

[4] This second retelling of The Maltese Falcon (before John Huston proved the the third time was the charm) is a bizarre pseudo-comedy with an ingratiating performance by Warren William in the role Humphrey Bogart would later immortalize. Warren got under my skin — I hated him. Bette Davis was all right, but the real standout performance was Arthur Treacher as the tall Englishman, Travers. …

[6] Bette Davis stars as a washed-up Hollywood actress desperate to revive her career. You might think the film would be a bit autobiographical, but the screenwriters actually patterned it after Joan Crawford. (And Davis no doubt found some amount of joy in portraying her adversary.) When Davis’ character hits rock bottom, getting jailed after drunk-driving with her Oscar statue, Sterling Hayden pops up playing …

[5] Bette Davis stars as a woman who marries a banker (Claude Rains) to protect her brother from embezzlement charges. Claude Rains’ character knows full well that she’s marrying him for his money, but hopes that in time she’ll grow to love him. Well… she doesn’t. Bette Davis is a cold-hearted bitch in this movie, so all your sympathy goes to the long-suffering Rains, whose …

[4] Bette Davis stars as a woman charged with murder. She claims it was self defense, but opposing counsel discovers a letter that threatens her verdict — a letter she wrote to the deceased on the day she shot him… four times. The Letter is directed by William Wyler and based on a play by W. Somerset Maugham. Wyler and cinematographer Tony Gaudio do their …

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