Bette Davis, Ex Lady (1933)Bette Davis, Ex Lady (1933)
Bette Davis and Henry Fonda, Jezebel (1938)
I have loved every single Bette Davis movie I have ever seen except for one. Ironically, one of her most popular ones is my least favorite – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane… hate it! Halfway through the movie, I was like, “I don’t CARE what happened to her or anyone else in this thing!” Well, I cared about the rat, but it was too late for him.
At least I can say this, I’ve never seen a bad Bette Davis performance.
Henry Fonda fares a bit better with me – I have never seen a Henry Fonda film I didn’t like and, like Bette Davis, I’ve never seen a bad Henry Fonda performance.
These two teaming up could only be something magical, which is (of course) what Jezebel is. The costumes are stunning and the stars are stunning. Visually, it’s just a very beautiful movie. Fortunately, it’s as entertaining as it is beautiful.
Below are a few bits of trivia related to this movie:
“I will never be below the title.”
“If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it.”
“Today everyone is a star – they’re all billed as ‘starring’ or ‘also starring’. In my day, we earned that recognition.”
(About Katharine Hepburn’s tie with Barbra Streisand for the 1968 Oscar) “I wanted to be the first to win three Oscars, but Miss Hepburn has done it. Actually it hasn’t been done. Miss Hepburn only won half an Oscar. If they’d given me half an Oscar I would have thrown it back in their faces. You see, I’m an Aries. I never lose.”
(About fourth husband, Gary Merrill) “Gary was a macho man, but none of my husbands was ever man enough to become Mr. Bette Davis.”
(When she was told that “at one time” she had a reputation for being difficult) “At one time?! I’ve been known as difficult for 50 years, practically! What do you mean ‘at one time?’ Nooo, I’ve been like this for 50 years. And it’s always always to make it the best film I can make it!”
(When told not to speak ill of the dead) “Just because someone is dead does not mean they have changed!”
(About her mother) “I had to be the monster for both of us.”
“If Hollywood didn’t work out, I was prepared to be the best secretary in the world.”
“I have been uncompromising, peppery, infractable, monomaniacal, tactless, volatile and offtimes disagreeable. I suppose I’m larger than life.”
“(Joan Crawford) and I have never been warm friends. We are not simpatico. I admire her, and yet I feel uncomfortable with her. To me, she is the personification of the Movie Star. I have always felt her greatest performance is Crawford being Crawford.”
(After blowing a line several times in Hollywood Canteen (1944), in which she plays herself) “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I think I just can’t play myself. I don’t know how! But, if you give me a drink – give me a cigarette – give me a gun – I’ll play any old bag you want me to. I just can’t play myself!”
“I was a person who couldn’t make divorce work. For me, there’s nothing lonelier than a turned-down toilet seat.”
“I always had the will to win. I felt it baking cookies. They had to be the best cookies anyone baked.”
“My favorite person to work with was Claude Rains.”
“I certainly would have given anything to have worked with John Wayne. He’s the most attractive man who ever walked the earth, I think.”
(During tension on the set of The Whales of August, about co-star Lilian Gish) “She ought to know about close-ups… she was around when they invented them!”
There’s nothing quite like watching a movie from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Whether it’s a Musical, Western, Comedy, Romance, Film Noir, or Drama – if it’s on, I’m not too far away… with popcorn and raspberry tea in hand and a couple of cats nearby.
Below are a few Old Hollywood movie reviews I’ve done on the blog. There are, as you’d imagine, a lot more to come. – Joi (“Joy”)
We’re in the Money (Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell)
The Naked Spur (James Stewart, Janet Leigh)
The Prince and the Showgirl (Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier)
The White Sister (Helen Hayes, Clark Gable)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Howard Keel, Jane Powell, Russ Tamblyn, Julie Newmar)
Rio Bravo (John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan)
El Dorado (John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey)
Rio Grande (John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara)
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (What is it With Me and These Movies??)
The Stooge (Jerry Lewis’ favorite Lewis and Martin Movie… for good reason.)
Critic’s Choice (Hilarious movie starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball)
To Please a Lady (Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck team up in a fast track movie)
Grand Hotel (Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore)
Hearts Divided (Marion Davies, Dick Powell)
The Quiet Man (John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald)
Steps in Time (Fred Astaire)
Enchantment (Audrey Hepburn)
Find out just how much I (truly) Love Lucy in the Lucille Ball category. I’m warning you, I call it an obsession for a very good reason…
Another personal absolute favorite of mine is Barbara Stanwyck. Not only was she beautiful and outrageously talented, she was exceptionally bright and colorful. This growing collection of Barbara Stanwyck Quotes will give you an idea of just how colorful she was!
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When you click through an affiliate (product, book, dvds..) link, I earn a small portion of the money you spend IF you purchase anything. This does not cost you any extra money, of course. This is how I am able to work from home and support my cats! – Joi