Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis by Ed Sikov

By Ed Sikov

The mythical Hollywood megastar blazes a fiery path during this mesmerizing portrait of a super actress and the flicks her expertise increased to greatness

She was once exceptional and exasperating in equivalent degree. Jack Warner known as her "an explosive little extensive with a pointy left." Humphrey Bogart as soon as remarked, "Unless you're very massive she will knock you down." Bette Davis used to be a strength of nature—an idiosyncratic expertise who however outlined the phrases "movie star" for greater than part a century and who created a unprecedented physique of labor jam-packed with unforgettable performances.

In Dark Victory, the famous movie critic and biographer Ed Sikov paints the main special photograph ever introduced of this clever, opinionated, and strange girl who was—in the phrases of a detailed friend—"one of the most important occasions of the 20th century." Drawing on new interviews with neighbors, administrators, and admirers, in addition to archival examine and a clean examine the movies, this fashionable, intimate biography finds Davis's own in addition to specialist existence in a fashion that's either revealing and sympathetic. together with his clever and well-informed tackle the construction and accomplishments of such motion picture milestones as Jezebel, All approximately Eve, and Now, Voyager, in addition to the turbulent existence and intricate character of the actress who made them, Sikov's Dark Victory brings to existence the two-time Academy Award–winning actress's unmistakable reveal sort, and indicates the reader how Davis's paintings used to be her personal darkish victory.

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Extra info for Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis

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Within a short time of leaving Paramount , he could command a hundred and fifty thousand dollars a picture , and that was only the beginning. Later, he formed partnerships and produced his pictures through his own corporations-Grandon , Granart , Granley , and Granox. He didn't do what stars like Kirk Douglas did when they gained control over their productions: he didn't appear in Westerns , for the virtually �uara nteed market. He was too self-aware for that ; he was a lonely holdout m the period when even Frank Sinatra turned cowpoke .

He does uproarious mugging in the knockabout jamboree moviemakers' prank, like Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur stole the adolescent boys' fantasy atmosphere from then took the plot from their own mixed it with a slapstick and set it in a Hollywood Kipling India. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. , plays the Hildy Johnson role-he plans to leave the British Army to get married and go into the tea business-and Victor McLaglen, in the Walter Burns role , and Grant , as the Cockney bruiser Archibald Cutter, scheme to get him to reenlist.

Unlike the macho actors who as they got older became strident about their virility , puffing their big, flabby chests in an effort to make themselves look even larger, Grant , with his sexual diffidence , quietly became less physical-and more assured . He doesn't wear out his welcome : when he has a good role , we never get enough of him . Not only is his reserve his greatest romantic resource-it is the resource that enables him to age gracefully . What the directors and writers of those four suspense films understood was that Cary Grant could no longer play an ordinary man-he had to be what he had become to the audience .

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