S01.E07: Abandoned 2017.04.16

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With production of Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte underway, the feud is intensified when Joan learns of a new producer on the project. In an unguarded moment, Bette reveals her vulnerabilities to Bob.

 

 

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Thus ends an exceptionally poorly-conceived revenge plot (my favourite part being Crawford's stunned reaction to the studio serving her the notice of suit, when they forthrightly told her they were going to do that).

The final image of Bette, Olivia and Bob posing with Cokes was hilarious.

Historically, the stuff with B.D.'s marriage happened in 1963, so I had initially assumed the series had skipped over all that when we didn't see it earlier.  It's kind of a big plot development to just drop in out of nowhere like that.

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Joan's feeling aggressed on the set of the new movie, so she comes down with a case of the blue flu. Hope she doesn't overplay her hand!

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I love Kathy Bates to pieces, but Joan Blondell needed to be a bigger role in this whole story, or just not be in it at all.  Right now it feels like Ryan Murphy is just giving Bates a part to check off a list of go-to actresses he always uses (Lange, Paulsen, Bates, etc.) - I'm kind of not seeing much of a point to Blondell unless she and De Havilland throw down in the finale.

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As this show goes from Feud to Pity Party, I go from "Meh" to "Ugh".

Did love that salmon-colored outdoor patio set, tho.

Edited by voiceover.

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I looked up B.D. Hyman, and she is still married to Jeremy. So Davis was wrong about that one. 

Neither actress came across particularly well this episode, though the script kept reminding us it was the Big Bad Patriarchy that made them into assholes. There was a lot of petty cruelty on Davis's part, and it was painful to see Crawford alienate everyone until there was no recourse but to replace her. It was satisfying to see Mamacita make good on her threat to leave, but since IMDb has her listed in all 8 episodes, it seems she'll be back.

Was Crawford genuinely ill in that last scene? I can imagine a "celebrity" hospital giving a fake-sick star a bed and a wheelchair, but not an oxygen tent. 

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Thing is, Bette wasn't mocking Joan, although I see how it plays that way.  She was impressed that Joan was able to do that sequence of events in one fluid movement, and capture it in a single take.  She says as much, and it is mentioned in more than one bio of Bette that she admired that.

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4 minutes ago, GreekGeek said:

 

I looked up B.D. Hyman, and she is still married to Jeremy. So Davis was wrong about that one. 

 

 

Yes, I was going to say "and they're still married!"

ONE line from Agnes Moorehead?  Dang!  I met her once, when I was 13 or 14.  She played Doña Ana in a stage production of Don Juan in Hell.   She was so sweet and gracious to us little Stage Door Janeys, and I remember being surprised at how petite she was (because on Bewitched, she always looked enormous!)  Well, she was usually floating up by the ceiling or perched on some tall furniture!  

I probably still have her autographed program somewhere (also signed by Edward Mulhare who played the Devil.)  Ricardo Montalban (Don Juan) skulked backstage until we had to run for our bus -- we looked back and saw him duck out the door and run down the alley to his car!  Jerk.  I never liked him after that ;-)

I have to watch Charlotte again; haven't seen it in years.

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References to Bette's supposed unattractiveness--Warner saying she didn't have an ounce of sex appeal, Joan basically calling her ugly to her face--don't sting like they should when the actress is played by Susan Sarandon. It's an awful stretch to imagine her as the unsightly creature described in the writing. 

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12 minutes ago, Marmiarmo said:

Thing is, Bette wasn't mocking Joan, although I see how it plays that way.  She was impressed that Joan was able to do that sequence of events in one fluid movement, 

Right.  It was one of those soapy misunderstandings that usually drive romantic comedies.

I think I'm feeling pissy about this because I loved the idea of this series.  Because I love Davis, and admire Crawford.  And the cast is terrific.

But the last two eps have felt like "Rinse, repeat" (no matter the accuracy).  One of the things that made Shakespeare's tragedies work was the comedy that leavened the sadz & badz.  Even though I'm still loving Sarandon, and Lange's delivering what's there, it's all just making me...numb.

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2 minutes ago, ThatsDarling said:

References to Bette's supposed unattractiveness--Warner saying she didn't have an ounce of sex appeal, Joan basically calling her ugly to her face--don't sting like they should when the actress is played by Susan Sarandon. It's an awful stretch to imagine her as the unsightly creature described in the writing. 

Funny thing is, I find them almost as unimaginable applied to Bette Davis!  She was actually quite lovely well into her 30s, and was never some unsightly, eye-searing hag...unless she chose to play one.  But I agree that Susan Sarandon doesn't have even an edge of the plain-Jane quality Bette herself thought she possessed.  She's really quite lovely, for any age.

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I agree about Shipka.  She was almost as bad in this episode as she was as the neighbor's daughter in Baby Jane.

Joan got my sympathy after tonight.  It must have been horrible to work in Hollywood in those years -- horrible for both of them.  Makes me wonder how any of the actresses back then managed to live normal lives.  I assume it's better now.

I've been thinking that CZJ just doesn't work as Olivia, but then I found this clip of Bette and Olivia on I've Got A Secret -- filmed in 1965 -- and maybe the casting director got it right.  Olivia would have been almost 50 -- she looked darn good for 50. 

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41 minutes ago, AuntiePam said:

Olivia would have been almost 50 -- she looked darn good for 50. 

When has Olivia de Havilland looked anything but amazing?  (aside from, or maybe in the case of, the "deeper" and "unglamourous" roles of her career)

Olivia de Havilland is 100!

Edited by elle.

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though the script kept reminding us it was the Big Bad Patriarchy that made them into assholes

As fun as it is to jump on the "Big Bad Patriarchy" train, and as talented as both of these women were (Bette more so, of course), these two women were assholes long before they got anywhere near Baby Jane.

Edited by AndySmith.

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3 hours ago, TheOtherOne said:

This part confused me

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“For a goddamn week in Baton Rouge, she brought twenty pieces of luggage. It was a black-and-white movie but she had color-coordinated outfits for the daytime scenes, and for the night shots all of her evening dresses were chiffon, which meant that the wardrobe lady had to spend hours ironing them in the one-hundred-degree weather.”

The actresses had to supply their own wardrobes for the movie? 

Was Joan really considered “the most beautiful girl in the world” when she was young? And was Bette really considered unattractive? From looking at pictures, I don't see either one.

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Was Joan really considered “the most beautiful girl in the world” when she was young? And was Bette really considered unattractive? From looking at pictures, I don't see either one.

I think Joan was thought of as glamorous and beautiful when she was younger, while Bette was pretty, but thought of more for her acting talent.  I thought the lines about "most beautiful" and "most talented" were silly and reductive.  I feel like the womens' dislike of each other is more complicated than the show wants it to be, and it's almost like they are heading to some kind of "You mean all this time, we could have been friends?" Baby Jane moment between the two women to complete the circle.                  

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I think Joan got what she richly deserved at the end of this episode. She carried it too far. she badly overthought her leverage. I wonder if she fought to be a producer instead that they may have granted her that. Good for Mamacita on living up to her word on leaving. Nobody needs to put up with that. 

For this ep, I would have gladly traded Joan Blondell for more Agnes Moorehead.  Much more. At least a campy line like "I just play a witch on TV but you two?"

I did feel bad for Joan if it's true that the production just up and left her. That shouldn't have happened. I thought Bette was somewhat apologetic too but of course Joan had to huff and puff. 

Bette still seems more grounded to me. It's not an accident that she usually has more people around her.  I want to think if they could just get everything out in one long screaming fest that included all the pettiness that both held inside for too long, they might have been...well if not ok, at least more understanding of each other.

"I don't do bitches. They make me so unhappy. You should call my sister" needs to be framed. What a great line. I'd love to use it, but my sister might kill me.  :)

Edited by vb68.

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Mamacita finally walking out on Joan was a long time coming. Joan finally burned her last bridge.

So Joan was fine with fixing her face in all ways possible as long as it wasn't her eyebrows? Wow. I feel like I should admire that.

"You were always overrated!"/ "I guess that explains my 11 Oscar nominations." Please tell me I'm not the only one that immediately thought of Meryl Streep and 45 at that exchange!

B.D. sucks, but her calling out Bette was justified. Surprised that she and Jeremy are still married.

"I don't do bitches...you should talk to my sister." Okay, screw Charles and Diana, next season HAS to be Olivia vs Joan!

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3 hours ago, GaT said:

This part confused me

The actresses had to supply their own wardrobes for the movie? 

Was Joan really considered “the most beautiful girl in the world” when she was young? And was Bette really considered unattractive? From looking at pictures, I don't see either one.

That really bothered me, found it to be stupid sloppy writing. There is no way Joan thought she was "the prettiest girl in the world" 

In her heyday Joan always believed Garbo was the most beautiful girl at MGM. Joan's quote when seeing Garbo in person “My knees went weak. She was breathtaking. If ever I thought of becoming a lesbian, that was it

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Honestly I think the beauty/talent line was more used to show that these two women were each considered "among" the most whatever in their age group and yet it was never enough.  They both sort of recognized it at that moment.  Ine had more talent.  One had more beauty.   If they hadn't been at each other's throats through both outside forces and their own insecurities they might have been something great together.

i thought the scenes between Bette and BD were sad.  Yes BD and her husband are still married so Bette was wrong about that but BD comes off as a petulant teenager.  

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In her heyday Joan always believed Garbo was the most beautiful girl at MGM. Joan's quote when seeing Garbo in person “My knees went weak. She was breathtaking. If ever I thought of becoming a lesbian, that was it

Funny enough, about Davis regarding Crawford as being the most beautiful...Johnny Carson once asked Davis who she was inspired by, and she replied: "No-one, but that I always envied Katherine Hepburn's looks".

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8 hours ago, ThatsDarling said:

 

References to Bette's supposed unattractiveness--Warner saying she didn't have an ounce of sex appeal, Joan basically calling her ugly to her face--don't sting like they should when the actress is played by Susan Sarandon. It's an awful stretch to imagine her as the unsightly creature described in the writing. 

 

This is exactly what I was coming here to say. Obviously taste is relative, but I find Sarandon to be much more attractive than Lange. I find her practically stunning in this role. And Lange...I mean, she's not a beast or anything, but I don't find her nearly as gorgeous as Crawford was. So yea, that whole plotline - "You're the pretty one, I'm the talented one" just didn't work for me. Plus, and I'm no expert, but would that really be something Davis would care about? She seemed too confident for that, and it's not like she was shunned from Hollywood for not being "fuckable", as she was supposedly told. 

 

As to the rest of the episode, Joan just couldn't help herself, could she? I DID get the impression that Bette was fucking with her a bit, being harder on her than she needed to be. But Joan just didn't ever seem to be able to take the high ground. She always had to cook up some scheme. When Mamacita told her, "You did this to yourself", that's exactly what I was thinking. She self sabotages. It was sad to see, but at the same time....satisfying. Mamacita warned her about throwing things!

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17 minutes ago, ghoulina said:

As to the rest of the episode, Joan just couldn't help herself, could she? I DID get the impression that Bette was fucking with her a bit, being harder on her than she needed to be. But Joan just didn't ever seem to be able to take the high ground. She always had to cook up some scheme. When Mamacita told her, "You did this to yourself", that's exactly what I was thinking. She self sabotages. It was sad to see, but at the same time....satisfying. Mamacita warned her about throwing things!

I agree with this. I have very mixed feelings about Joan. I thought Bette was annoying and it was just super bitchy to comment on Joan's performance and saying to Bob that her scenes were unnecessary and should be cut. Maybe I'm harsh but the longer the episode went on, the less sorry I felt sorry for Joan. I felt for her in the beginning but the faking illness and ignoring their warnings of suing her for breach of contract, and then being shocked when being served... Grow the hell up! It was satisfying to see her replaced.

Good for Mamacita for getting out of there!

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Like Joan, Jessica just didn't age well. Jessica was so cute before she began altering her face. And I found Joan to be stunning in her youth, before she began going for a much sharper styling circa Mildred Pierce. Different strokes, I guess...

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8 hours ago, The Wild Sow said:

ONE line from Agnes Moorehead?  Dang! 

And apparently I missed that line!  Which scene was it?  The character isn't credited on IMDb, yet.  BTW, the episode was directed by Helen Hunt, whose Oscar I would have awarded to any of the other four nominees that year.

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16 minutes ago, Inquisitionist said:

And apparently I missed that line!  Which scene was it?  The character isn't credited on IMDb, yet.  BTW, the episode was directed by Helen Hunt, whose Oscar I would have awarded to any of the other four nominees that year.

I did too, unless she was the stand-in for Crawford when they had to shoot around her?

One question that the script didn't address: At what point was the name of the film changed from Whatever Happened to Cousin Charlotte? I know it was Davis's idea because she didn't want the film thought of as a sequel to Baby Jane, but I haven't seen any other details, at least not online.

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I believe Agnes Moorehead was the half-drunk woman in the hotel toom party who replies to BD's line about one-take Crawford.

I did not spot anyone who was supposed to be Mary Astor or Cecil Kellaway. The actor playing Cotten was not very memorable.

This episode felt like a bit of a letdown, despite all of the high conflict between the two stars, which felt more manufactured as opposed even to previous episodes. For example, I have trouble believing that JC would not have known beforehand exactly who were the people with a "producer" title on that movie. Also BD is not listed as "Associate producer" or any similar title in the published credits of the film. An invention by the scriptwriters? It is true that such a title can be a vanity one as they said in the show, with no real authority on the set.

Accounts of that shoot that I have read recounted that JC truly wanted out of the picture when it became clear BD's treatment of her would continue in the same vein and was not pretending to be sick just to get more script changes since that had been proven to be a dead end. Of course, showing her overestimating her bargaining position and then being left high and dry makes for a better story. They again fudged a little the chonology regarding Lady in A Cage, although not as badly a in the previous episode; that film was released a week and a half after production on Charlotte started, and thus could not yet be a box-office success as Warner saif last time.

The only truly captivating moments for me were Victor Buono's little exchange with BD on the terrace and the two stars' confrontation after JC came back from the set where she had been abandoned.

A behind-the scenes story about the shooting such a movie must have plenty of interesting material; if anything is to blame, it's probably how it was treated and presented by this show. Perhaps a rewatch of the episode will make me appreciate it more.

Edited by Florinaldo.

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This was the worst episode yet and disappointing that it's the penultimate episode. That whole discussion about the pretty one vs the talented one was lifted straight from a bad '90s high school melodrama.While I have no doubt that Warner would have said something like that,  Bette Davis never struck me as the type to give a shit what anyone thought about her, especially about her looks. And the idea that she lived in the era she did and would hold Crawford up as THE example of "the most beautiful girl in the world?" Yeah, right. Not knocking Crawford because she was a beauty, but not any more or less stunning then the other actresses of her era.

It was cringe-worthy watching that scene where Jessica is doing her makeup prep, talking about her looks since her face is frozen with horrible fillers/Botox. I've grown tired of her slowness and lack of pep in the role. Poor Joanie...she deserved a better portrayal than this.

To in-show Bette: In about 20 years, Kim Carnes is going to make a very popular song about how your eyes are all a girl needs to be a successful seductress. So your sex appeal wasn't lost on your audience, even if you tried to hide it under costuming. :)

Edited by AgentRXS.

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Yesterday afternoon we watched the library copy of Sweet Charlotte.

Because of knowing JC's departure, I really zoned in on what I thought were reshoots with Olivia replacing JC.  When Olivia de Havilland got out of that taxi, she was drop dead gorgeous.  Absolutely radiant.  Melanie Wilkes who?   KZJ didn't take over the spot light the way OdH did, not by a long shot.  
The omission of Agnes Morehead's character, remembering she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress, well, it's his version of the feud.  

Seeing the movie and watching last night within eight hours of each other did not make me any fan of the choices made for TV.

Heck, I know Houmas House and that was no Houmas House.

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Geez, I'm ready for Fargo to start (and hope to heck it's as good as the previous two).  Feud is now, IMO, almost recycling the scenes (at least it feels that way). All the inane schemes JC came up with--I just began attributing them to her screwed up mind. Although I must admit that having BD sitting beside the director while Joan was shooting her scene--that had to be unnerving and I wouldn't have liked that either.  What was Aldrich thinking, making BD an associate producer, knowing from first hand (& miserable) experience how explosive the atmosphere was between these two stars?  And, Agnes Moorhead?  She was in last night's episode? (I loved her in Bewitched!)  Which one was she supposed to be?  This time, watching John Rubenstein playing George Cukor, I still didn't see Rubenstein (my dreamboat back in the Crazy Like A Fox days).  Anyway (I got distracted!)...why was Cukor trying to get Joan to dial it back with all her histrionics?  I just couldn't see anything redeemable in JC throughout this series.

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To in-show Bette: In about 20 years, Kim Carnes is going to make a very popular song about how your eyes are all a girl needs to be a successful seductress. So your sex appeal wasn't lost on your audience, even if you tried to hide it under costuming. :)

I think Bette Davis is the ultimate "victor" in this feud by nearly every measure.  She kept acting almost until her death and she knocked down her daughter's attempt to "Mommie Dearest" her. 

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Apparently I am the only one who actually liked the pretty/tallented conversation.  Yes it was a little on the nose but it was the basis for the entire feud.  One spent her entire career being lauded for her beauty so much so that she wouldn't "beauty down" for a roll because she didn't think her acting could make up for it.  The other fir her tallent but wasn't exactly known as the prettiest girl on the screen.  Again it was on the nose but it was also played as a "please like me/love me and I'll forgive you everything" kind of scene which I appreciated.

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I don't think what Davis was doing in that hotel scene with the others was making fun of Crawford. Instead, she was simply amazed and mystified that Crawford had been able to pull off that opening scene in one take. This is the story: When Joan Crawford was in Baton Rouge and came to film Miriam's arrival, there was no dialogue involved. Joan was to arrive at the mansion in a cab, exit, carrying a small case, pay the driver, and lowering her sunglasses, look up at the balcony of the house where Bette, in pigtails and a nightgown, was standing in the shadows, holding a shot gun. The scene was designed to be photographed in a wide continuous shot, and, thanks to Crawford's proficient technical skill, it was completed in one take. Later that evening, when publicist Harry Mines called on Bette in her motel bungalow, he found her standing in the middle of the room practicing Joan's scene. "My God!" said Bette. "I've been here all evening long with a pair of dark glasses and some luggage and I'm imagining getting out of a cab and trying to do that whole business in one gesture. How did she do it?"

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15 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

I think Bette Davis is the ultimate "victor" in this feud by nearly every measure.  She kept acting almost until her death and she knocked down her daughter's attempt to "Mommie Dearest" her. 

She had the advantage of outliving JC by a dozen years so she had a longer opportunity to make other good movies (as well as some clunkers). It's a bit ironic that BD pulled a similar stunt as JC on her last movie, Wicked Stepmother, and withdrew from the production. As I recall, she alleged creative differences while the producer-director, upper-scale shlockmeister Larry Cohen, said it was because her health was failing.

One thing about yesterday's opening scene is that they recreated it with the voice-over narration, which JC would only have recorded later, probably in a post-production ADR session which of course never took place with her. But it did help make that sequence more believable to us since a long silent shot would not have fit with our expectations of how such a scene should play according to movie conventions, and it underscored the virtuoso aspect of JC's performance which the other characters commented upon.

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Bette Davis milked in interviews for decades how  when she was starting out studio chief Carl Laemmle Jr. reportedly said that Miss Davis had ``about as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville."  She loved telling that story for comic effect.

It just doesn't ring genuine that Bette was scarred for not being considered beautiful, and in an era of great screen movie Stars, Joan while very attractive certainly was never considered THE beauty.

Joan was drinking quite heavily during that time and for one so self conscious about her image  it's very plausible She sabotaged herself during the "Charlotte" filming because she wasn't up to the challenge.  Holding up production that long was the antithesis of the professionalism Crawford had been known for. From most accounts it was perceived as a stalling tactic.

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2 hours ago, AndySmith said:

Like Joan, Jessica just didn't age well. Jessica was so cute before she began altering her face. And I found Joan to be stunning in her youth, before she began going for a much sharper styling circa Mildred Pierce. Different strokes, I guess...

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What plastic surgery is Jessica Lange supposed to have had?  She looks just like she always had, only much older. 

I have to admit, I never thought Joan Crawford was that good looking, at any age, while I thought the young Bette Davis was gorgeous.

12 hours ago, DasFlavorPup said:

I love Kathy Bates to pieces, but Joan Blondell needed to be a bigger role in this whole story, or just not be in it at all.  Right now it feels like Ryan Murphy is just giving Bates a part to check off a list of go-to actresses he always uses (Lange, Paulsen, Bates, etc.) - I'm kind of not seeing much of a point to Blondell unless she and De Havilland throw down in the finale.

I just can't see Olivia de Havilland when I look at Catherine Zeta Jones.  I just don't see it in her looks, her voice, her bearing -- nothing.  I think that role could have been better cast.

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What plastic surgery is Jessica Lange supposed to have had?

One too many facelifts, if I had to guess.

Edited by AndySmith.

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While I think this was a relatively weak episode -- and really shouldn't have been - - I thought the most important thing to gain from the conversation between Bette and Joan was that both felt "it was never enough."  Neither would have been able to obtain the adulation they craved, whether it was for their looks and glamour or acting ability.  Joan was lauded for her glamour but she did develop into a fine actress.  Bette was lauded for her acting ability but she was pretty at certain points in her life. Neither seemed able to see this which is truly sad. 

The "being left behind on set" bit did happen.  I think Joan was already feeling shut out, between her hotel room not being available and not being called to set until five days in, so this pushed her self esteem over the edge.  She did seriously miscalculate what would happen if she took to Cedars.  Sad because her career never really recovered after that (with the exception of her episode on "Night Gallery," which was quite good.)  

I did like the scene between Bette and Victor Buono.  He made some good points.  Both Bette and Joan were needed for their respective roles in the 30s and 40s; both were important.  

And yes, Bette did indeed admire how Joan managed to shoot her intro scene in one take.  Very unfortunate that she never told Joan herself how much she admired that.

Deep down, Bette and Joan were soul sisters.  They were alike in as many ways as they were different.

I suppose we were to think that Bette consented to B.D.'s marriage so as not to alienate and lose her?  I wonder if "Feud" will show the scene where Bette tells B.D. that she should cheat, as an affair sometimes helps a marriage - - according to B.D. at least. 

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21 minutes ago, AndySmith said:

One too many facelifts, if I had to guess.

I don't see it. And almost every before/after photo I find online shows a photo of her in her 20s/30s next to a photo of her recently.  I mean, if you show a photo of anyone next to a photo of themselves 30 years ago, you're going to see a major difference!

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Her face looks very frozen at times. Nothing to do with her being older. She hasn't reached Faye Dunaway levels, but she definitely looks like she has had work done. Susan Sarandon's face looks much more natural and less altered, by comparison.

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2 hours ago, Florinaldo said:

The actor playing Cotten was not very memorable.

I thought he did a decent job with the voice and inflections. I liked Joseph Cotten, so I was listening.

I'm glad this is almost over. The last two episodes had me thinking to turn it off and go to bed, but I forced myself to stay to the end because I didn't want to sit through the first halves again.

I worked with two women who were always backstabbing and undermining each other until one was fired. I didn't think of it as a feud, but maybe it was. Maybe that's why I'm not enjoying the show as much. This crap happens all the time.

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52 minutes ago, Mojoker said:

I have to admit, I never thought Joan Crawford was that good looking, at any age

Happy not to be alone in that. I never have either, and I was struggling with that here. I admit I have a bias in that I'm not a fan of hers, but there is always such a harshness about her, even in the old pictures, that just overwhelms everything. I think Jessica's look in the role nails that.  

On the other hand, I always think of Bette as being so witty, which only makes one more attractive in my eyes.

Edited by vb68.

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Was Joan really considered “the most beautiful girl in the world” when she was young?

Crawford was striking, and glamorous, but not necessarily a sex symbol like Jean Harlow or Lana Turner. I think they are over-playing how attractive she was to better contrast her against Bette Davis - one is the ultimate in glamour and the other is the ultimate in talent, for the purpose of this story. But Crawford was best known for playing a type, and that type was generally "shop girl." Her success was in playing the every-woman who rises from poverty and obscurity to make good, an appealing message during the Depression which is why her movies in the early and mid-30s were so popular and why she had such devoted female fans. So much like Davis, she was known more for the types of roles she played than for her beauty.

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Just now, vb68 said:

I always think of Bette has being so witty, which only makes one more attractive in my eyes.

This.  Bette was funny, brassy and witty.  I think the delivery of her famous "What a dump" and "Fasten your seatbelts" quotes made her sexy even when she wasn't considering "physically attractive."

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She had the advantage of outliving JC by a dozen years so she had a longer opportunity to make other good movies (as well as some clunkers). It's a bit ironic that BD pulled a similar stunt as JC on her last movie, Wicked Stepmother, and withdrew from the production. As I recall, she alleged creative differences while the producer-director, upper-scale shlockmeister Larry Cohen, said it was because her health was failing.

It wasn't really about Bette living longer, so much as Joan stopped working.   Joan hadn't made a movie for about seven years prior to her death.  I think she stopped acting entirely five or so years before her death.  Bette, on the other hand, was working right up until months before she died.       

As to Wicked Stepmother, from what I read, Davis' health was failing, but she was scared if she left the production for health reasons, she wouldn't work again (because no one would want to knowingly hire someone in fragile health).  I think she died within a few months of those events. 

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8 minutes ago, txhorns79 said:

As to Wicked Stepmother, from what I read, Davis' health was failing, but she was scared if she left the production for health reasons, she wouldn't work again (because no one would want to knowingly hire someone in fragile health).  I think she died within a few months of those events. 

Exactly. She may have concluded that this was a risk considering what happened to JC after she faked her illness to get out of Charlotte and then had to content herself with mostly cheap shockers for the rest of her career like Trog and Berserk! probably because few studios would want to take a chance on an actress with a highly publicised failing health, true or not. She also did some television work of which her Night Gallery episode "Eyes" is perhaps the most memorable as psychoticstate wrote.

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