A Double Feature Recommendation

Any true cinephile knows that when you’re talking about great actresses you must mention Bette Davis. The two-time Best Actress Oscar award winner was a chain-smoking icon with eyes so big they could pierce your soul. In her earlier days, Davis appeared in many prestigious films that garnered her much critical praise. However, with this selection  I will be focusing on films that she made in her maturer days.

When Davis became older, it became more difficult for her to receive project offers that matched her talent. Instead, she had to appear in films that ventured in wackier direction just so she to keep the lights on. Today, I will be recommending two films that starred the great Bette Davis in the later days of her career: Dead Ringer & Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Both films tell the a story of feuding sisters who become engrossed in attempted, and successful murder plots. Even though this is “spooky season”, these two films are absent of blood and gore. However, what they lack in sensationalism, they make up for in great storytelling. I hope you check out these two movies this Halloween season.

Dead Ringer (1964)

Image courtesy of themotionpictures.net

4/5| Drama| Thriller| 1hr 58m

Director: Paul Henreid
Screenplay: Albert Beich, Oscar Millard
Cinematography: Ernest Haller

One of the many great films I stumbled across on FilmStruck, Dead Ringer tells the story of Edith Phillips (Davis), an  impoverished women who kills her wealthy twin sister, Margaret DeLorca (Davis),  and impersonates her to live a life of ease. Although the storyline sounds familiar, it is an entertaining experience that will have you smiling with glee. And for those who are unfamiliar with Davis’ work, I believe it is a great introduction.

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Image courtesy of The New York Times

4.5/5| Drama| Thriller| Horror| 2hr 15m

Director: Robert Aldrich
Screenplay: Lukas Hellar
Cinematography: Ernest Haller

I learned of this movie in 2017 when I watched Ryan Murphy’s Feud on FX. The series contained information on the decades long feud between veteran actresses Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, which came to a bowling point during the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? With a backstory that is just as entertaining as  the movie itself, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? cemented itself in the history books as an important piece of pop culture. The story follows Blanche and Baby Jane Hudson, two long forgotten actresses living in old mansion. When Baby Jane’s sanity wears thin, she begins to torture and conspire to kill Blanche so that she can finally be free to return to her career as a showbiz darling

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