Bette Davis Project #9: Hell’s House (1932)

“Hell’s House” (1932) is an odd film. It’s part drama, part social commentary /exploitation, part juvenile delinquency film, and all badly-made quickie. For evidence of the quality of this film, just check out the title screen. Who did that, the director’s 8-year-old nephew? More than anything, this is a boring …

Bette Davis Project #8: The Dark Horse (1932)

The Dark Horse (1932), a goofy political satire, aired on TCM last November during their series of films about political elections. In Dark Horse, the Progressive Party of an unnamed state finds themselves deadlocked between two choices when nominating their gubernatorial candidate. The delegates who support one candidate get the …

Bette Davis Project #7: “The Man Who Played God” (1932)

Let’s just get this out of the way: George Arliss is damned creepy. His face looks like a naked skull, and the over-dark lipstick, eyeliner, and what I think is makeup around his nostrils freak me the hell out. In “The Man Who Played God” (1932), Arliss — who was …

Bette Davis Project #6: The Rich Are Always With Us (1932)

Ruth Chatterton is Caroline Grannard, the daughter of a fabulously wealthy tycoon and wife of handsome businessman Greg (John Miljan). Caroline often lunches with Julian Tierney (George Brent), a handsome journalist who is in love with her, but while she enjoys his company she makes certain he knows she’s not …

Bette Davis Project #5: Fog Over Frisco (1934)

“Fog Over Frisco” (1934) – Bette Davis is Arlene, hard-partying step-sister to Val (Margaret Livingston. Again. Sigh.) Arlene is also girlfriend to rich dude Spenser Carlton played by blog fave Lyle Talbot. Arlene hangs around wild bars that are owned and run by gangsters, and even though Val goes with …

Bette Davis Project #4: Bordertown (1935)

Paul Muni is Johnny Ramirez, a poor Latino living in L.A. who has just earned his law degree by spending 5 years in night school. His first real case comes when an elderly neighbor is hit by a drunk driver, the exceptionally racist and spoiled Dale Ewell (Margaret Lindsay) and …

Bette Davis Project #3: Housewife (1934)

Housewife (1934): Bill Reynolds (George Brent) and wife Nan (Ann Dvorak) are happily married but struggling financially and quite frustrated with everyday irritations. Nan tries to get Bill to apply for better jobs because she’s disappointed that he is such a milquetoast, and of course this attitude strains their marriage …

Bette Davis Project #2: The Bad Sister (1931)

Bette Davis attended John Murray Anderson‘s acting school in her early 20s and hit Broadway in 1929 at the ripe old age of 21, where she was quickly discovered by Universal. The studio realized it had no idea what to do with her, however, and after a few films did …

Bette Davis Project #1: “Fashions of 1934”

William Powell plays Sherwood Nash, a con artist who fails at one con and, when he stumbles into newbie fashion designer Lynn Mason (Bette Davis), is inspired to create a new con: knock-offs of original fashion dresses. Nash’s true motivation is to irritate legitimate designers so they will hire him …

The Bette Davis Project (and set your recorders!)

Before I get to the meat of the post, I want to do tell you that “Cabin in the Cotton” will be on TCM on June 7th at 4:30 AM Eastern time. This is a very hard to find movie, one that was released on VHS years ago but hasn’t …