SIMPLY CAROLE

SIMPLY CAROLE
CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Drama Filled Thursdays (BETTE DAVIS)

Been awhile since I did a post on dramas for Thursdays. I decided to choose a singular star and focus on her top dramatic films. And who better than the grand diva herself, Bette Davis. Now if you have read my previous Drama Filled Thursdays posts, you know I set the list at only 5 films. We all know Bette had lots of strong dramas in her stellar career. So it was very hard choosing my five favorite of hers. But choose I did. So here we go. And in no particular order.

ALL ABOUT EVE (1950)
 
Without a doubt my favorite Davis film. She is marvelous as broadway diva Margo Channing, who is competing with the young ingenue Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Watch and let Bette show you how it's done...Acting 101. She was robbed of an Oscar that night, I tell ya.
A+

THE WHALES OF AUGUST (1987) 
 

Is the last great film did by the wonderful Bette. She and Lillian Gish are magnificent as two elderly sisters living in their family cottage home on the coast of Maine. Bette is Libby, who is blind and maybe senile. Lillian is Sarah and she takes care of her. This is truly a beautiful and amazing film. It's great to watch veteran actors still make such moving films. In addition to Davis and Gish, this film also stars Ann Sothern, Vincent Price and Harry Carey, Jr.
B

 OLD ACQUAINTANCE (1943) 
 
 For some reason I love this melodramatic soap fest. Call it my guilty pleasure. Bette is Kit Marlowe, a famous writer who is best friends with Millie (the wonderfully over the top Miriam Hopkins). Friendship soon turns into a bitter rivalry. Famous scene has Kit shaking the crap out of Millie and then saying succinctly...Sorry. Classic.
 B+


DARK VICTORY (1939)
 

  Easily one of Bette's most engaging performances and one of the best films from Hollywood's golden year of 1939. Bette plays Judith Traherne, a wealthy Long Island society girl who is having a ball with her lifestyle. Well fun and games come to an abrupt end when she finds out she has a brain tumor. Her secretary and friend Ann (played by Geraldine Fitzgerald in an understated but moving performance) and other friend Alex (Ronald Reagan) convince Judith to see a brain specialist, Dr. Frederick Steele (George Brent) who informs Judith that the tumor will cause her to die within the year. Through the course of the year Judith falls in love with Frederick and accepts his marriage proposal but can't go through with it because she thinks the doctor is being sympathetic to her illness. Humphrey Bogart is on hand as an Irish horse trainer who tries to make Judith fall in love with him. When he realizes that will never happen, he convinces Judith to be with the doctor. Dark Victory is one serious melodrama with an excellent performance by Bette. This is easily one of her top 5 film performances ever. 
B+


THE LITTLE FOXES (1941)
 Excellent drama set at the turn of the century with Bette ruling as Regina Giddens, a woman who will go to great lengths for money and power in a family of cheats and liars. Regina though is on another level as she is the type of character that you love to hate. She is sharp and on point the whole time and I thought Bette's performance was the best of 1941, hence her winning a Montie.
B+

Other choice Bette dramas include The Letter, Jezebel, The Petrified Forest and In This Our Life.

My love of classic films is beyond measure

Monty

3 comments:

KimWilson said...

Oh, Monty, disagreements must be had!
My Top 5 are:
Jezebel
Now, Voyager
All About Eve
The Letter
The Great Lie
The runner-ups (some being guilty pleasures of mine):
Of Human Bondage, Dangerous, Dark Victory, All This and Heaven Too, The Little Foxes, Mr. Skeffington (oh, so guilty!), and Winter Meeting (more guilt!)

Dawn said...

My Top 6 are:
Jezebel
Now, Voyager
All About Eve
The Letter
Dark Victor
Mr. Skeffington

ClassicBecky said...

Monty, I adore Bette so much I'd have to just list all of her movies (even the stinkers)! My #1 and #2 would be The Letter and The Little Foxes. She is without doubt my favorite actress!

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