The Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection (Fox) Rating: NNNN; DVD package: NNN
All About Eve (1950) D: Joseph Mankiewicz, w/ Anne Baxter. Rating: NNNNN; DVD package: NNNNN
Phone Call From A Stranger (1952) D: Jean Negulesco, w/ Shelley Winters. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NN
The Virgin Queen (1955) D: Henry Koster, w/ Richard Todd. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NNN
Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) D: Robert Aldrich, w/ Olivia de Havilland. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NNN
The Nanny (1965) D: Seth Holt, w/ Wendy Craig. Rating: NNN; DVD package: NN
If anyone deserves to be called the greatest screen actor ever, it’s Bette Davis. She had the intensity, the range and the ability to go from snapping out lines with studied theatricality to raw emotion that seems utterly heartfelt.
Davis gives her peak performance in one of the world’s greatest movies, All About Eve, a witty and emotionally complex drama about an aging Broadway star and the young hopeful who stabs her in the back.
The extras are uniformly excellent; they focus on the onscreen/on-set parallels, including a truly bizarre little item on the real-life Eve.
In Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte, a nifty Southern Gothic with Davis in madwoman mode, a good retrospective making-of doc highlights Davis’s feud with original co-star Joan Crawford, and co-star Bruce Dern tells a fine story about Davis as party host.
The Nanny, The Virgin Queen and Phone Call From A Stranger are all solid entertainments showcasing various facets of Davis’s abilities.
EXTRAS Eve: Disc one: Two commentaries, isolated score track. Full-frame. English, French, Spanish audio. English, Spanish subtitles. Disc two: Two retrospective making-of docs, Joseph Mankiewicz bio, Sarah Siddons Society and true-life backstory docs, more. Phone Call: Promotional materials gallery. Full frame. English, French, Spanish subtitles. Virgin: Making-of doc, more. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish audio. English, Spanish subtitles. Hush: Retrospective making-of doc, Dern reminisces, more. Widescreen. English, French, Spanish subtitles. Nanny: Promotional materials gallery. Widescreen. English, Spanish audio. English, French, Spanish subtitles.