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.