Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bette Davis Eyes

I am on a Bette Davis movie marathon and enjoying every minute. This weekend I watched the fantastic Now, Voyager starring Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains and Gladys Cooper. This movie is simply NOT TO BE MISSED!
Davis plays the spinster aunt in a well to do Boston family who suffers a nervous breakdown but after therapy emerges a confident and beautiful woman who finds love and fulfillment away from her domineering mother. The film is simply a feast for the senses. Davis's famous eyes are highlighted in almost every scene she is in and the sets and costumes (fantastic!) are center stage shot in gorgeous black and white. The music score is excellent as are all the performances. They simply don't make films in Hollywood like this anymore.
The movie is famous for the smoking scenes throughout. Nothing really happens without Davis or her co-stars lighting up. In today's PC culture that wouldn't happen in modern films but in this one the smoking is foreplay and sexy in a shared intimate way. You'll understand when you watch Paul Henreid light up 2 cigarettes in his mouth and slowly offer one to Davis. It becomes their signature intimacy symbolic of the only thing they can share.
Later this week I am immersing myself in Dark Victory and Jezebel. I can't wait!

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