Hollywood’s 10 Greatest Actresses Quotes by Charles River Editors
Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, George Sanders / All About Eve 1950 directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Over last weekend I watched two films, one a classic, the other not so much -- though it has a cult following. Quality wise there's no comparison, although River directed by Otto Preminger, is a great looking movie, with excellent use of early Cinemascope. It's an entertaining potboiler. The Letter based on Somerset Maugham's novel, is one for the ages. And while you might imagine Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe were as unalike as two actors could be, they shared one quality -- an odd manner of speaking. Davis's clipped tones became famous instantly, and as she grew older, the static quality of her delivery increased, rendering many of her performances artificial. It took a strong director and an inspiring script to wrench Davis out of her habits.
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She intimidated Marilyn Monroe so badly on the set of All About Eve that Monroe went into the bathroom to vomit after her scenes with Davis. After one particular scene Davis whispered to her other co-stars-- within poor Marilyn's hearing-- "That little blonde slut can't act her way out of a paper bag! She thinks if she wiggles her ass and coos away, she can carry her scene-- well, she can't! She had played twins eighteen years before in the romance A Stolen Life. Once when Gary and Rita brought Michael-- Bette and Gary's adopted son-- home after an excursion, Bette stuck her head out of a second-floor window and called Rita a whore. However, Bette landed the part and, in a way, got to portray Joan Crawford.
Joseph L. Even more impressive, the film is 65 years old yet remains caustically funny and eerily timeless. It seems ambition, jealousy, and vanity never go out of style in Hollywood. When Davis came aboard, the screenplay was tweaked a bit to reflect her abrasive public persona. Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were nominated for Best Actress, making them rivals with the Academy just as they were in the film. None of them won , but the movie did take home six trophies that night, including Best Picture. Big surprise, a story about backstabbing in Hollywood actually happened.
In concocting his larger-than-life, technicolor re-telling of the infamous Hollywood conflict between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, Feud creator Ryan Murphy , understandably, took some creative liberties. The fact, believe it or not, is even nastier than the fiction. That makes sense; it fits in with the timeline that Murphy is working with; and, after all, Monroe v. Can you imagine an actress now wearing a costume from an upcoming film to an awards show? But it was this gold number that won Monroe a standing ovation in Because the gown was so precariously situated on her figure, Monroe opted to skip the dinner and dancing portion of the evening—she was warned the dress might rip or fall to pieces.