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Favorite Bette Davis Movies

  • Dec 3, 2011
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Mr. Skeffington
My favorite Bette Davis movie. Bette and Claude Rains star in this 1944 masterpiece. Bette plays the beautiful turn of the century New York socialite Fanny Trellis. She has many suitors but is forced into a loveless marriage with Mr. Skeffington, to save her brother Trippy from embezzlement charges. Bette plays the role of the bitch to full tilt in this film. I don't know when she was more beautiful than in this film. Fanny is never true to Mr. Skeffington and nevers appreciates his love for her until she is old and has lost her beauty. When he returns to her as a blind old man she realizes she will still be beautiful in his sight and that his love is the true love of her life. Its slow moving and dated by todays standards. But for me its Bette at her best and I can 't ask for more than that. There is a lot going on in this movie from the shallowness of Fanny to anti semitism directed towards Mr. Skeffington. Critics have mixed opinions about this film today. But it did earn Bette an Academy Award nomination and in my opinion it is one she should have won.
See the full review, "Mr. Skeffington - Bette Davis and Claude Rains at their best".
Another classic from Bette. Bette earned a much deserved Oscar for portraying Julie Marsden. Henry Fonda plays her love interest. The story is set during the Civil War is has been compared many times to Gone With The Wind. Bring your hanky. Its another tear jerker and one of my favorites.
Now, Voyager
Now Voyager is pure soap opera, but played at its best by Bette Davis and Paul Henreid, and co starring Claude Rains. I love the film and the journey of the ugly duckling played by Davis in the beginning to the stunning beauty she grows into as the film progresses. Once again is romantic and weepy so bring your handkerchief once more. Even if you hate this one, watch for the famous cigarette lighting scene with Paul Henreid and Bette. For me there is no question this is another classic Davis film..
The Letter
The Letter could easily be at the top of my list. I don't think there is any other film where Bette was more of a classic bitch than The Letter. Made in 1940 and based on a W. Somerset Maugham novel this melodrama has Davis at her nastiest. Also starring Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson, and Gale Sondergaard. This is Davis at her deceitful best.
The Whales of August
I had to include Bette's last completed film on the list. Its an excellent movie. Also starring Lillian Gish, Vincent Price, and Ann Sothern in an academy award nominated role.
Dead Ringer
Bette playing twin sisters. Had to include this on this list. Also starring Karl Malden . Favorite line Bette to Bette "But we're sisters" "And so we are and to hell with you!"
The Anniversary
Bizarre, perverse, and one of Bette's strangest movies. Still its a lot of fun. Bette playing a one eyed monster of a mother with eye patches to match every outfit. Great fun.

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December 09, 2011
Great list! I love half of these and the others I haven't seen like #9-12. Might have to check them out, thanks for sharing :)
About the list creator
Larry Sampson ()
Ranked #201
I am a retired Federal employee. I worked for 34 years for the Civil Service. When I retired I was working at The Library of Congress in Washington DC. I was able to retire at a somewhat young age of … more
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