Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano (1983)
*** (out of 4)
Nice documentary/interview has Ian Holm narrating the story of Bette Davis who is also on hand to throw in some comments of her own. The documentary covers about sixty-minutes worth of material but many, many classic films are overlooked. We do get some discussion on how MGM pretty much threw her out of the studio when she came looking for a job and how Universal just used her as a kissing model. We hear about her eighteen years at Warner and how she eventually got out of her contract. Geraldine Fitzgerald, Anne Baxter, Olivia de Havilland and Joseph L. Mankiewicz are all interviewed and share a few good stories. As a documentary this thing is pretty weak because it really doesn't dig deep into Davis and her career and one could say it sugar coats a lot of stuff including her infamous temper and attitude. The one main reason to watch this is because of Davis herself who comes off very charming here and it's obvious she still had a great memory on her. It's too bad there wasn't more interview footage that had her talking at more length about her career. I doubt anyone will learn anything new here but it's still worth watching if you're a fan of Davis and want to see one of her last interviews.
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