The Bette Davis Centenary Celebration Collection [6 Discs] [DVD]

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Special Features

  • Audio commentaries
  • Featurettes
  • Isolated film score tracks
  • Restoration comparisons
  • Fox Movietonews features
  • TV spots
  • Original theatrical trailers
  • Interactive pressbook galleries
  • Poster galleries
  • Lobby card galleries
  • Still galleries
  • Closed Captioned


All About Eve
Based on the story The Wisdom of Eve by Mary Orr, All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (Bette Davis), weaving a melancholy life story to Margo and her friends. Taking pity on the girl, Margo takes Eve as her personal assistant. Before long, it becomes apparent that naïve Eve is a Machiavellian conniver who cold-bloodedly uses Margo, her director Bill Sampson (Gary Merill), Lloyd's wife Karen (Celeste Holm), and waspish critic Addison De Witt (George Sanders) to rise to the top of the theatrical heap. Also appearing in All About Eve is Marilyn Monroe, introduced by Addison De Witt as "a graduate of the Copacabana school of dramatic art." This is but one of the hundreds of unforgettable lines penned by writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the most famous of which is Margo Channing's lip-sneering admonition, "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night." All About Eve received 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Phone Call from a Stranger
David Trask (Gary Merrill), the sole survivor of an airplane crash, takes it upon himself to contact the families of the various victims. Though he's already formed preconceived notions of his deceased fellow passengers, he's in for quite a few surprises when he meets the relatives. His first visit is to the wife (Beatrice Straight) and son (Ted Donaldson) of a profoundly troubled doctor (Michael Rennie). His second stop is at a nightclub managed by the domineering mother-in-law (Evelyn Varden) of an aspiring actress (Shelley Winters). Finally, he meets the invalid wife (Bette Davis) of an outwardly obnoxious travelling salesman (Keenan Wynn). After his odyssey into other people's lives, Trask gains a new perspective on his own personal travails. Few studios could pull off the "multi-story film" format as well as 20th Century-Fox, and Phone Call From a Stranger is a grade-A example of that format. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Virgin Queen
Having previously portrayed England's Queen Elizabeth I in 1939's The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Bette Davis reprises the role in the Technicolor-and-Cinescope costumer The Virgin Queen. Harry Brown and Mindret Lord's screenplay proposes that Elizabeth's relationship with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh (Richard Todd) was somewhat more than cordial. Raleigh is depicted as a charming opportunist, who deliberate leads the Queen on in order to further his chances of heading an expedition to the New World. Complications ensue when Sir Walter falls in love with lady-in-waiting Beth Throgmorton (Joan Collins). Not to be believed for a single moment, The Virgin Queen works well on a swashbuckler level, with Davis outacting everyone in sight-even such veteran scene-stealers as Herbert Marshall, Dan O'Herlihy, and Jay "Caligula" Robinson. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte
An unusually long pre-credits sequence establishes the roots of faded Southern belle Charlotte's (Bette Davis) insanity; she'd been witness to the dismemberment murder of her fiance (Bruce Dern) and the suicide of the murderer, her own father (Victor Buono). Years later, Charlotte remains a recluse in her decaying southern mansion, zealously guarding the secret of her father's guilt; she is cared for by her slatternly housekeeper (Agnes Moorehead). When her house is targeted for demolition, Charlotte fears that this will uncover her lover's body parts and thus confirm that her father was a murderer. She desperately summons her seemingly sweet-tempered cousin Miriam (Olivia De Havilland) to help her fight off the house's destruction. Miriam brings along the family doctor (Joseph Cotten) to calm Charlotte's frayed nerves. When Charlotte begins to be plagued by horrific visions of the homicide/suicide of so long ago, it appears that she has gone completely insane. But soon we learn who is behind these delusions...and why. Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte was intended by director Robert Aldrich as a follow-up to the successful Joan Crawford/Bette Davis horror piece Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962). Ms. Crawford was originally slated to play Miriam, but became seriously ill shortly before filming started. Davis, who disliked Crawford intensely, suggested that the role of Miriam be filled by her best friend, De Havilland. On the first day of shooting, Davis and DeHavilland pulled a "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" routine by toasting one another with Coca-Cola--a catty observation of the fact that Joan Crawford's husband was an executive with the Pepsi Cola company! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Nanny
In this thriller (which represented something of a departure for Hammer Films, noted for their gothic period pieces), Joey Fane (William Dix) has returned home after two years in an institution for mentally ill children. His sister drowned, and his family believes that Joey was to blame, despite his claims of innocence. Joey is convinced that the family's Nanny (Bette Davis) was responsible and refuses to have anything to do with her, but only neighbor girl Bobby (Pamela Franklin) agrees that there's something sinister about the woman minding the house. When Joey's neurotic mother Virginia (Wendy Craig) nearly dies after eating tainted food prepared by the Nanny, Virginia's sister Penelope (Jill Bennett) comes by to help. Penelope soon witnesses the bad blood between Joey and the Nanny, though before long she begins to think that the boy might be right about her after all. Jimmy Sangster adapted the screenplay from a novel by Evelyn Piper. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Bette Davis
    Bette Davis - Margo Channing
  • Anne Baxter
    Anne Baxter - Eve Harrington
  • George Sanders
    George Sanders - Addison De Witt
  • Celeste Holm
    Celeste Holm - Karen Richards
  • Gary Merrill
    Gary Merrill - Bill Sampson
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