Sunday, March 27, 2016
Bette Davis Blogathon: April 3-5
"A director can guide, but the artist has to dredge up truth from within herself. And that is what Bette gave us in Of Human Bondage - the truth." Filmmaker John Cromwell
Leave it to this movie-crazed blogger to not associate Easter Sunday with the historic events that transpired 2016 years ago, but with Bette Davis in the melodrama Beyond The Forest. Rumor has it that some shameless wiseguy tried to sneak in a bit to the Old Testament in which Judas' first words were "what a dump!" It did not meet with the Editor's approval.
With much respect on Easter Sunday to those who quietly do good in the world, we note that the 2016 Bette Davis Blogathon commences next weekend - a week from today. The showbiz top hat tip goes to the splendid writer Crystal Kalyana Pacey of In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood for hosting the blogathon, which commemorates Bette's birthday on April 5, 1908.
Your truly will use the 2016 Bette Davis Blogathon as an excuse to indulge his undying love of pre-Code Warner Brothers movies and review the election year comedy The Dark Horse, co-starring the hardest working guy on the Warners lot (other than Joe E. Brown), Warren William, along with ace character actor Guy Kibbee.
Unlike this year's presidential hopefuls, 1932 candidates did not, in a shameless (and successful) attempt to avoid actual policy discussion, brag about the size of their johnsons in public. We say this knowing that Orson Welles made a student film titled Too Much Johnson and also hoping to someday find a DVD of Ghost Catchers starring Olsen & Johnson.
But I digress. . . This movie buff has found the acting of Bette Davis, from her very first silver screen appearances in 1931 to her last TV and movie roles in the 1980's, creative, original, mind-numbingly versatile and frequently unpredictable. Even very early in her career, she mops up the floor with any wooden actors who had the misfortune to co-star with her.
Can't say I agree with the "top 10 rankings" in the following clip - she made many wonderful movies over a six decade career - but it is clear that Bette commands the silver screen from the moment she appears.
If there were 10 ways to play a specific role, Bette Davis would find an 11th approach nobody would think of.
This 1971 interview on The Dick Cavett Show reveals that she was a rather amazing person as well.
Since outstanding writers with vast knowledge of classic movies - Farran Smith Nemhe, a.k.a. The Self-Styled Siren, Imogen Smith of Bright Lights Film Journal and Stacia Kissick Jones of She Blogged By Night, to name three - have penned excellent essays on Bette Davis in years past, it is great to see this blogathon throw down the gauntlet.
There are many, many contributors and this blogger is stunned at how amazingly prolific the classic movie-loving scribes are.
The lineup of posts is as follows:
100 Films In A Year - Of Human Bondage
All Good Things - In This Our Life
B Noir Detour - The Petrified Forest
Back To Golden Days - Now Voyager
Bare, Bones E-zine - Burnt Offerings
Bewitched With Classic TV - Guest Star Bette Davis - Her Television Appearances
Blog Of The Darned - A Pocketful Of Miracles
Christina Wehner - Fog Over Frisco
Cinematic Catharsis - The Watcher In The Woods
The Cinematic Frontier - Where Love Has Gone
Cinematic Scribblings - The Little Foxes
Critica Retro - Three On A Match
Dark Lane Creative - The Virgin Queen
Defiant Success - Of Human Bondage
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. - Prince Of Hollywood - The Parachute Jumper
Finding Franchot: Exploring The Life And Career Of Franchot Tone - Dangerous
The Flapper Dame - Satan Met A Lady
Flickers in Time - A Catered Affair
Girls Do Film - Bette Davis: Classic Hollywood's Forgotten Feminist?
In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood - A Tribute To Bette Davis: Fan Interviews
Karavansara Live - The Private Lives Of Elisabeth And Essex
LA Explorer - Spotlight on Bette Davis in Hollywood Canteen and Thank Your Lucky Stars
Lauren Champkin - The Great Lie
Le Cinema Dreams - Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte
Love Letters To Old Hollywood - Now Voyager
Marielle O’Neill Article Archive - Marked Woman
Meredy.com - Old Acquaintance
The Motion Pictures - TMP Reads: Mother Goddam by Whitney Stine and Bette Davis
Movie Classics - The Sisters
Musings Of An Introvert - The Bride Came C.O.D
Old Hollywood Films - The Letter
The Old Hollywood Garden - Mr. Skeffington
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies - Dead Ringer
Pop Culture Reverie - The Old Maid
Portraits By Jenni - A Stolen Life
Serendipitous Anachronisms - The Man Who Came To Dinner
A Shroud Of Thoughts - Whatever Happened To Baby Jane
Silver Screenings - Dark Victory
Smitten Kitten Vintage - All About Eve
Speakeasy - Another Man’s Poison
Thoughts All Sorts - She's Got Bette Davis Eyes
Way Too Damn Lazy To Write A Blog - The Dark Horse
Wolffian Classic Movies Digest - Jezebel