Wednesday, 27 December 2017

Feud: Bette and Joan

gaslighthouse.blogspot.com Feud Bette and Joan Ealing Studios old films
I loved old films, some of my favourites are the ones made
by Ealing Studios.
Binge-watched Feud: Bette and Joan on BBC iplayer over the Christmas holidays, about the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford whilst making the picture What ever happened to Baby Jane? The opening credits alone is fantastic, there's something Hitchcockian and at the same time, light, about it. This series is star-studded, I was so impressed they were able to bring together these actors in one series; the supporting cast is superb. I so wanted to see this since I heard of the filming, having heard of these two stars' rivalry for most of their careers. I saw Baby Jane many, many years ago but I remember most of the scenes - clearly a sign of a memorable film. Davis and Crawford have quite a reputation and if Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange's portrayals of them were accurate, you could see what sort of characters the former were, but they were largely sympathetic characters; if anything, I didn't find Crawford the epitome of evil, I thought she was just quirky. 

Davis got an Academy award nomination for her role in Baby Jane, and Crawford, angry that she was snubbed, contacted the other nominees to tell them that she could accept their Oscar if they wouldn't be able to attend. I thought this was comical, could anyone be this mad?! Could this be real life?! No wonder somebody thought this could make for a very interesting series. The film industry could be very superficial that even good people would go to great lengths to keep up with the younger stars, stay in the limelight and keep afloat in the dusk of their careers. 

I could go on and on about old films, and of course, the fashion from that era (1920s - 50s were great) and how elegant people looked even when they were just going to the shops. In the UK, I specifically love the old films made by Ealing Studios (a few of them in the photo above), mostly top billed by the late great Alec Guinness. They don't make them the way they used to anymore.

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