“Baby Jane” never better than at poolside screening, TCM Fest

Film
The highlight of our first day of this, our eighth TCM Turner Classic Film Festival, was hands down WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1964) screened poolside of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. We so enjoyed viewing the Gothic horror movie so smartly directed by Robert Aldrich and graced by the outre performance of Bette Davis and ...

Busby Berkeley brings it to Bette Davis in ‘Fashions of 1934’

Dance · Film
A great dance movie starring Bette Davis. Who knew? Apparently Film Forum director of repertory programming, Bruce Goldstein, did. He programmed FASHIONS OF 1934, smart and smashing in a 35mm print and preserved by Library of Congress, as part of Film Forum’s recent nine-day Busby Berkeley festival. It’s a really good movie, well acted and ...

Happy birthday, Barrie Chase! 1

Dance · Film
Wishing a wonderful birthday to a leggy lady, the great Hollywood dancer Barrie Chase. She not only graced Fred Astaire as his final partner, she brought her own strong, vixen presence as a solo dancer (on view in the video, dancing to “The Girl from Ipanema”) to millions of American television viewers in the 1960s. ...

Stephen Farber’s TCM Fest 2015 movie round-up

Film
by 
I interviewed Ann-Margret at an Academy screening of Bye Bye Birdie three years ago, so it was great to see her again at this year’s TCM Classic Film Festival, where she introduced a screening of The Cincinnati Kid. The film’s original director, Sam Peckinpah, cast her in the movie, though Peckinpah was replaced by Norman ...

“You’re no spring chicken,” Bette Davis told Gena Rowlands in 1979 3

Film
So incredible, Wednesday evening, to see the great Gena Rowlands in person, interviewed by film critic Steven Farber after a screening of her historic tour de force performance in “A Woman Under the Influence.” As part of a long conversation, Rowlands spoke with great warmth about her memories of Bette Davis, with whom she co-starred ...

Marsha Hunt’s wartime Saturday nights at the Hollywood Canteen 1

Film
It was a touching and exceptional march back through time. Wednesday night at the historic American Legion Hall (Hollywood Post #43 ) just south of the Hollywood Bowl, we attended a marvelous event mixing military veterans and classic film buffs, members of Hollywood Heritage. After pledging allegiance to the American flag, the strange bedfellows shared ...

Meow! Bette Davis discusses her dear colleague Joan Crawford 3

Film
Quotations from Chairman Bette: “I wouldn’t piss on her [Joan Crawford] if she was on fire.” “She [Joan Crawford] has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie.” “Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it’s because I’m not a bitch. Maybe that’s why [Joan Crawford] always plays ladies.” “[Joan Crawford] ...

Bette Davis turns 100 years old 4

Film
To celebrate the occasion, we attended a LACMA double-bill of two of Davis’s late-career outings (post-All About Eve and pre-Baby Jane). We watched in morbid fascination the divine Ms. D chomp both the scenery and her hunky co-star, Sterling Hayden, in The Star. Davis plays a washed-up movie celeb who tries, fails, and ultimately succeeds ...