Bette Davis Eyes

Her career started almost at the beginning of the talking motion picture and continued until her death in 1989. Her speciality was playing the wicked woman role, and no one could do it better.

Bette Davis

By David Thomson

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She could look demure while behaving like an empress. Blonde, with eyes like pearls too big for her head, she was very striking, but marginally pretty and certainly not beautiful . . . But it was her edge that made her memorable--her upstart superiority, her reluctance to pretend deference to others.

"Bette Davis was the commanding figure of the great era of Hollywood stardom, with a drive and energy that put her contemporaries in the shade. She played queens, jezebels, and bitches; she could out-talk any male costar; she warred with her studio, Warner Bros., worked like a demon, got through four husbands, was nominated for seven Oscars, and--no matter what--never gave up fighting. This is her story."

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Bette Davis: Larger than Life

By Richard Schickel and George Perry

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"'Until you're known in my profession as a monster, you're not a star,' Bette Davis once said. Let's just say in Hollywood she was considered the ultimate star. The Academy Award-winning actress was one of the movies' most riveting and volatile personalities both on and off the screen. She comes to life in the pages of this lavish, fully illustrated tribute produced in conjunction with her estate.

"Bette Davis remains one of the most acclaimed and well-known stars in the history of film. Breaking new ground for women, she was a fighter who took on the Hollywood establishment at the drop of a dime. She reveled in lifelong feuds (such as with arch nemesis and co-star Joan Crawford). She was a mother, wife, and friend. She was also a no-nonsense New Englander who happened to have more talent than the movies seemed able to contain.

"Her personality leapt off the screen and earned her an unprecedented number of high-profile nominations and awards for her work in films like Jezebel, Dark Victory, All About Eve, and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? As the epitaph on Davis's tombstone reads, 'She did it the hard way.' Through a biography, comprehensive filmography, and hundreds of rare photos, readers will find out why."

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Mr. Skeffington

By Bette Davis, Claude Rains

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Dealing openly with anti-Semitism and Nazi atrocities, the story spans World War I, Prohibition and the prelimanary volley of World War II. Fanny (Bette Davis) thrives on the adulation of countless suiters before and after she marries Job Skeffington (Claude Rains). Ravaged by age and illness, Fanny clings to Job's promise that "a woman is beautiful only when she is loved."

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The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

By Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Donald Crisp, Alan Hale, Vincent Price

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This period drama sets the tumultuous on-again, off-again affair between Queen Elizabeth I and the second Earl of Essex against Essex's powerful ambition to assume the throne of England.

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Bette Davis Speaks

By Boze Hadleigh

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"In this book the leading lady and woman ahead of her time speaks for herself in more than a dozen interviews conducted by journalist and author Boze Hadleigh."

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Fasten Your Seatbelts: The Passionate Life of Bette Davis

By Lawrence J. Quirk

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"Appearing soon after Davis's death, Quirk's monumental book is actually the culmination of years of research by the celebrity biographer. Though Davis's six-decade film career is discussed, as is her personal life, what is most evident here is the passion of this woman, so often hidden behind an outspoken, and in later life, crusty exterior. This effort may or may not stand as definitive, but right now it's the only one that reveals as much. Highly recommended." (Library Journal)

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The Whales of August

By Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, Ann Sothern, Harry Carey Jr., Mary Steenburgen

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In one of their last films, Bette Davis and Lillian Gish star as elderly sisters spending a summer at their seaside home in Maine. They remember their youth and lament the changes that have taken place in their lives. Ann Sothern also stars as the sisters’ lifelong friend. Vincent Price plays a Russian fisherman who is Lillian Gish’s romantic interest.

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The Petrified Forest

By Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart

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A rundown diner bakes in the Arizona heat. Inside, fugitive killer Duke Mantee sweats out a manhunt, holding disillusioned writer Alan Squier, young waitress Gabby Maple, and a handful of others hostage. Based on the play by Robert E. Sherwood.

Also available on DVD. The DVD version is loaded with extras: commentary by Bogart biographer Eric Lax; Leonard Maltin hosts Warner Night at the Movies 1936 wtih Newsreel; "Bullets or Ballots" theatrical trailer; musical short "Rhythmitis", cartoon "The Coo Coo Nut Grove"; new featurette: The Petrified Forest: Menace in the Desert; 1/7/1940 Gulf screen theater broadcast starring Bogart, Tyrone Power and Joan Bennett; includes original theatrical trailer.

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The Little Foxes

By Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, Richard Carlson, Dan Duryea

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Based on the play by Lillian Hellman, this is the story of Regina Giddens, a woman who will stop at nothing to outwit her brothers in running the family business, even if it means sacrificing the health of her husband or the love of her young daughter.

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The Letter

By Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson

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Based on the play by W. Somerset Maugham, this film is set on a rubber plantation in Malaya and reveals a woman's reasons for killing a man who was a close family friend. This is one of Davis's most calculating characters.

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