Tag: Bette Davis

November 17, 2009 / / Main Slate

By Leo Racicot

The Man Who Came To Dinner – 1942 – dir. William Keighley

We call a film ‘classic’, while sometimes forgetting why and how it came to be labeled that way.  “Oh”, we say, “The Man Who Came To Dinner. A classic movie!!” But why?

In the case of this Epstein Brothers-produced gem, the answer is easy. A super boffo comedy romp, it follows all the rules of how to make a movie that lasts, past time, past fashion: keen direction, faultless dialogue and performances, perfect pacing, plus a theme whose lessons remain timeless.

November 3, 2009 / / Main Slate

By Leo Racicot

Mr. Skeffington (1944) – dir. Vincent Sherman

The great Bette Davis had many cinematic tricks up her sleeve. Three of these held her in good stead over a nearly-seventy year career: her eyes, her voice, her cigarette.

Never enough can be said about the famous “Bette Davis eyes”; they had their own three-ring circus going; they cartwheeled, they jumped, they batted, they flew, they flirted, they lied, they fluttered, they drooped.  They were wet with tears when she wanted to deceive some man. They raised their joys to heaven and poured their poisons into the cups of those who worshiped at their altar.  Davis knew what to do with them, and even when she over-used or over-relied on them, there seemed to be a reason for it.  Entities unto themselves,  they worked overtime for her and made her the finest screen actress of her time.

August 8, 2008 / / Film Notes

By Christine Bamberger Now, Voyager

Now, Voyager – 1942 – dir. Irving Rapper

[Warning: Definitely brimming with spoilers!]

Although a definite relic of another age and sensibility, Now, Voyager is still regarded as one of the greatest romantic “women’s pictures” of all time. Indeed, it may be that its old-fashioned theme of self-sacrifice and its emotionally evocative Max Steiner score are part of the very reason the movie continues to fascinate us.