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Bette Davis (1908–1989)

Autor(a) de This 'n That

14+ Works 383 Membros 4 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Bette Davis

Image credit: Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Obras de Bette Davis

Associated Works

All About Eve [1950 film] (1950) — Actor — 288 cópias, 8 resenhas
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? [1962 film] (1962) — Actor — 126 cópias, 3 resenhas
Mother Goddam: The Story of the Career of Bette Davis (1974) — Contribuinte — 115 cópias
Death on the Nile [1978 film] (1978) — Actor — 114 cópias, 2 resenhas
Now, Voyager [1942 film] (1942) — Actor — 113 cópias, 5 resenhas
Return from Witch Mountain [1978 film] (2003) — Actor — 70 cópias
Dark Victory [1939 film] (1939) — Actor — 64 cópias
The Watcher in the Woods [1980 film] (1980) — Actor — 64 cópias
The Letter [1940 film] (1940) 61 cópias
Great Cinema: 15 Films (1955) — Actor — 60 cópias, 1 resenha
Of Human Bondage [1934 film] (1934) — Actor — 55 cópias, 1 resenha
Jezebel [1938 film] (1938) — Actor — 55 cópias, 2 resenhas
The Petrified Forest [1936 film] (1936) — Actor — 54 cópias, 1 resenha
The Little Foxes [1941 film] (1941) — Actor — 52 cópias
Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte [1964 film] (1964) — Actor — 51 cópias
I'd Love to Kiss You: Conversations With Bette Davis (1990) — Contribuinte — 50 cópias
The Man Who Came to Dinner [1941 film] (1942) 36 cópias, 1 resenha
Mr. Skeffington [1944 film] (1944) — Actor — 30 cópias, 2 resenhas
Burnt Offerings [1976 film] (2003) 28 cópias
Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume One (2006) — Actor — 23 cópias
The First Book of Glass (1955) — Ilustrador — 23 cópias
Dead Ringer [1964 film] (1964) — Actor — 21 cópias
Marked Woman [1937 film] (1937) 19 cópias, 1 resenha
Watch on the Rhine [1943 film] (1943) 19 cópias, 1 resenha
In This Our Life [1942 film] (1942) 17 cópias
The Whales of August [1987 film] (2008) — Actor — 17 cópias
The Star [1952 film] (1952) — Actor — 17 cópias
Old Acquaintance [1943 film] (1943) 15 cópias
Forbidden Hollywood Collection, Volume Two (1930) — Actor — 14 cópias
The Virgin Queen [1955 film] (1955) — Actor — 12 cópias
A Stolen Life [1946 film] (2011) — Actor — 11 cópias
Kid Galahad [1937 film] (1937) — Actor — 11 cópias
Deception [1946 film] (1946) — Actor — 11 cópias, 1 resenha
The Great Lie [1941 film] (1941) — Actor — 11 cópias
Murder With Mirrors [1985 TV Movie] (1985) — Actor — 10 cópias
The Old Maid [1939 film] (1939) — Actor — 9 cópias
The Nanny [1965 film] (1996) — Actor — 8 cópias, 1 resenha
Juarez [1939 film] (2011) 8 cópias
It’s Love I’m After [1937 film] (2011) — Actor — 8 cópias
Phone Call from a Stranger [1952 film] (2008) — Actor — 7 cópias
John Paul Jones [1959 film] (1994) — Actor — 6 cópias, 2 resenhas
Waterloo Bridge [1931 film] (1931) — Actor — 5 cópias, 1 resenha
The Scopone Game [1972 film] (2009) — Actor — 5 cópias, 1 resenha
The Anniversary [1968 film] (1996) — Actor — 4 cópias, 1 resenha
Hell's House [1932 film] (1932) — Actor — 4 cópias, 1 resenha
Fog Over Frisco (2015) — Actor — 3 cópias
The Scapegoat [1959 film] (1959) — Actor — 3 cópias
The Girl from 10th Avenue [1935 film] (1935) — Actor — 3 cópias
Storm Center [1956 film] (1956) — Actor — 3 cópias
Hotel: The Complete Collection (2016) — Actor — 2 cópias
Scream, Pretty Peggy (1973) — Actor — 2 cópias
June Bride [1948 film] (1948) 2 cópias
The Big Shakedown [1934 film] (1934) — Actor — 2 cópias
Dangerous [1935 film] (1935) — Actor — 2 cópias
The Rich Are Always with Us [1932 film] (1932) — Actor — 2 cópias
50 Movie Pack: Hollywood Legends — Actor — 2 cópias
The Sisters [1938 film] (2011) 2 cópias
Hollywood Canteen [1944 film] (1991) — Actor — 2 cópias
Cabin in the Cotton [1932 film] (1993) — Actor — 2 cópias
Front Page Woman [1935 film] — Actor — 2 cópias
The Dark Horse [1932 film] (1932) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Ex-Lady [1933 film] (1933) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Madame Sin (2014) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Bette Davis: In her own words (2012) 1 exemplar(es)
Wicked Stepmother [1989 Film] (1989) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Playboy Magazine ~ July 1982 (Lynda Wiesmeier) (1982) — Interview — 1 exemplar(es)
Special Agent [1935 film] (2015) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Housewife [1934 film] (1934) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Parachute Jumper [1933 film] (1933) — Actor — 1 exemplar(es)
Bordertown [1935 film] (2011) 1 exemplar(es)
Now, Voyager Booklet (Criterion Collection 1004) — Contribuinte — 1 exemplar(es)


1.37:1 (14) actors (16) actresses (11) autobiography (44) Bette Davis (120) biography (82) black and white (27) Blu-ray (12) cinema (17) classic (14) classics (12) comedy (18) crime (16) Disney (10) drama (139) DVD (274) DVD - CLASSICS (11) DVD-DRAMA (12) DVDs (10) film (108) history (11) Hollywood (37) horror (21) M-40s (13) memoir (17) movie (45) movies (87) Movies & TV (11) mystery (23) non-fiction (39) On screen. North America (15) romance (29) theatre (10) thomson1000 (11) thriller (17) to-read (24) UW (11) VHS (14) video (16) watched (15)

Conhecimento Comum



This is a set of five films featuring Bette Davis and a documentary of her life and career.

Marked Women (1936) - This gets three stars--because what would otherwise be a mediocre gangster crime drama is made very watchable by the presence of Bette Davis as the “marked woman” of the title and Humphrey Bogart as a New York City District Attorney reportedly modeled on the gang-busting exploits of Thomas Dewey--particularly his take down of Lucky Luciano. Three Stars

Jezebel (1938) - This is one of Bette Davis’ most famous roles--an academy-award winning performance as a Southern belle during the Civil War. Supposedly it was a consolation prize for not getting the part of Scarlett O’Hara. She was spectacular--as was Harry Fonda, the male lead. The film is famous for this scene with a red dress--in a black and white film--and the amazing thing is that so well is that scene played, I could swear I could see that the dress was red. Five Stars

The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942) - This is a rather broad comedy centered on an eccentric overbearing character. Davis has a secondary role here as a secretary and straight woman--but is wonderful to watch whenever she appears--and the rest of the cast is strong. Not a favorite, but watchable and amusing, even if it starts slow. Three Stars and a Half Stars

Old Acquaintance (1943) - The two “old acquaintances” are Kit (Bette Davis) and Millie (Miriam Hopkins). Childhood friends, Kit is sensible, kind--and a literary light, while the narcissistic Millie following Kit’s success, becomes a writer of romantic trash. The film follows them through twenty years of friendship, is often funny and sometimes rather touching. (My favorite moment being when Kit finally gives Millie a good shaking.) Very enjoyable. Three Stars and a Half Stars

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) - I’m a fan of Bette Davis--really am. I usually find her compulsively watchable. But god, I hated this thing and couldn’t make myself finish it. Mind you, Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in this--although personally watching her in this role made me cringe. The whole film was just too repellant and campy and weird for me. One Star

Stardust (2006) - This is a documentary about Bette Davis’ life and career, backed up by her archive footage and new interviews and narrated by Susan Sarandon. For me the interviews with Dick Cavett among others with Davis telling her own story are the standouts. A review in Variety called it “a crash course in Bette Davis 101” and a stark, clear portrait of a star who merited that designation in every sense, for good and ill. Engaging viewing. Four Stars
… (mais)
LisaMaria_C | Oct 5, 2013 |
Bette Davis comes across in this tell-all much as she does on the screen – confident, outspoken and decidedly unapologetic. She fixes her eye on the goal, and powers ahead until she gets here, quite happily stepping on as many toes as need be.

The quality of writing is quite good, if a bit choppy in style – lots of short sentences. There often seems to be an assumption that the reader will have prior knowledge of whatever’s being discussed. Fair enough, coming from such a celebrity; this memoir was published at a time when most people reading it would have been fans, with intimate knowledge of the career of this prominent movie star.

Bette Davis was born Ruth Elizabeth Davis in 1908, famously during a thunderstorm, as she relates in The Lonely Life:

"I happened between a clap of thunder and a streak of lightning. It almost hit the house and destroyed a tree out front. As a child I fancied that the Finger of God was directing the attention of the world to me … I always felt special – part of a wonderful secret. I was always going to be somebody. I didn’t know exactly what at first … but when my dream became clear, I followed it."

Bette, her younger sister Bobby, and their mother Ruth – “Ruthie” – were deserted by their father and husband when Bette was seven years old. Her mother refused to wallow in self-pity, but set herself to make a successful and prosperous life for herself and her daughters. Ruthie took on a wide variety of jobs, sending the girls to good boarding schools, and always arranging to spend vacation times together in interesting locations.

Bette received an unorthodox but adequate education; she was a great reader, and took singing, piano and dance lessons, apparently excelling at all of these pursuits. At some point she decided that her Great Big Goal was a theatrical career, and several seasons of New England theatre made up Bette’s dramatic apprenticeship.

As we all know, Bette eventually made the jump from dusty New York theatres to California sound stages. Roundly criticized as being homely in appearance and with zero sex appeal, there was paradoxically a certain something about Bette that came across as mesmerizing when she took on a dramatic role, and of course, there were those beautiful eyes.

Bette was never meek or humble. From a very early age she was tremendously focussed and not afraid to set her sights high, though she often fell afoul of fellow actors and her employers for her outspoken ways. She wasn’t afraid to take on unpopular characters, or to look less than glamorous if the role called for it – another characteristic which shocked many in “the business” was her insistence on realism over “pretty”. And though she full well knew what people were saying about her, she brazenly professed not to care.

"If you aim high, the pygmies will jump on your back and tug at your skirts.The people who call you a driving female will come along for the ride. If they weigh you down, you will fight them off. It is then that you are called a bitch.

"I do not regret one professional enemy I have made. Any actor who doesn’t dare to make an enemy should get out of the business. I worked for my career and I’ll protect it as I would my children – every inch of the way. I do not regret the dust I kicked up."

Speaking of those children, it is very obvious from this book that Bette’s dedication to her family matched her ambition. Frankly and with bitter regret, Bette reports that her first husband convinced her to have an abortion, fearing that a baby would damage her career. Years later, with husband number three, Bette did at last have a child. Barbara Davis Sherry – “B.D.” – was born in 1947, when Bette was 39. Under doctor’s orders to avoid further pregnancies, Bette and her fourth husband later adopted two more children, Michael and Margot. Margot was later found to have been brain-damaged at birth, and after being diagnosed as severely mentally handicapped, was then institutionalized, though she continued to spend much time with her family, and appears prominently in Bette Davis’s family publicity photos.

Bette’s personal life was predictably tumultuous; she was married four times, divorced from three of those husbands, and widowed tragically when her “true love”, her second husband, died suddenly of a blood clot in his brain after collapsing while walking down the street.

The Lonely Life was written in 1961, the year after Bette’s divorce from her fourth and final husband, actor Gary Merrill, her co-star and screen husband in the iconic All About Eve.

The Lonely Life, Bette says, refers to her resolution to live without a man in her life. She’s had rotten luck with husbands; better to go it alone.

After 1962 Bette had a number of career ups and downs and come-backs; she never really retired, never rested on her considerable laurels.

Several other memoirs followed The Lonely Life. Mother Goddam (1974) and This ‘n’ That (1987), continue the tale. Bette Davis died in 1989 from breast cancer, at the age of 81.

I wondered how much of The Lonely Life was actually written by Bette herself; it did have an authentic-sounding ring to it. The dedication gives the answer to this question:

"I attribute the enormous research, the persistence of putting together the pieces of this very “crossed”-word puzzle which comprises my life, to Sandford Dody.

Without him this book could never have been! His understanding of my reluctance to face the past was his most valuable contribution. We were collaborators in every sense of the world.

-Bette Davis

March 8, 1962"

Sandford Dody was an aspiring actor-turned-writer who ghost-wrote a number of Hollywood memoirs. His own story seems worthy of a follow-up, and my attention was caught by his 2009 obituary in the Washington Post. Dody’s version of his own life, Giving Up the Ghost (1980), is now on my wish list of future Hollywood memoirs to read.

The Lonely Life was a fast-paced and engaging, once I found my way into the choppy rhythm of the writing style. I particularly enjoyed the well-depicted childhood and young adulthood reminiscences. My interest faded a bit in the later parts, when Bette Davis talks about her film career and the encounters with studio owners, directors, and fellow stars – lots of name-dropping, and assumptions that we know what she’s going on about. Much of the time it made sense – the names were mostly very recognizable - but occasionally I felt out of the loop.

While Bette is gracious about most of the people in her life – loyalty to her chosen friends is one of her positive traits - it is obvious that there was also a substantial baggage of animosity and bitterness in some of her working and personal relationships.

I don’t necessarily like Bette Davis any more after reading this personal saga, but I did feel like I understood her, and appreciated what she had to say, and why she said it. She was frequently too strident in her self-justification for me to feel that I could really relate to the egoism of the “star” aspect of her personality, but I did feel that she came across as worthy of admiration and respect for her many accomplishments.

The perfectionist little girl with the lofty goals did achieve her ambitious destiny. She stood up for her ideals of artistic integrity her entire career. She was literate, thoughtful and highly intelligent and articulate, and she was a darned hard worker.

I put down this book with the strong inclination to seek out and watch some more of Bette Davis’s films – the ones she spoke favourably of, among the vast array of B-movies she also appeared in – so you may take this as a pleased-with-the-read recommendation.
… (mais)
2 vote
leavesandpages | Feb 21, 2013 |
Bette Davis' minimally organized but mostly engaging final book is probably best left to her biggest fans. It drifts from recuperation memoir to Hollywood reminiscences both fond and bitchy, ending with a tacked-on rebuttal to her daughter's stinging tell-all book. The Lonely Life is an all-round better (and by design, more comprehensive) autobio, with a few stories therein told repeated here, some oddly altered. But Bette's fans will find this an amusing, revealing, enjoyable quick read.
1 vote
afinpassing | 1 outra resenha | Jul 23, 2008 |
leslie440 | 1 outra resenha | Jan 5, 2012 |


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