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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Film > Pop Culture > Hollywood Rivals: Bette Davis/Joan Crawford

Hollywood Rivals: Bette Davis/Joan Crawford


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Main Program: B-



The rivalry between two of Classical Hollywood’s most successful and all-time cinema’s most powerful female icons is one of unique one-upsmanship and two very strong personalities set in their ways.  They were also very ahead of their time.  Hollywood Rivals: Bette Davis/Joan Crawford takes a shot at sharing some of the details about the battles that went on for decades as they survived the all-male boys club of the studios at the same time as fighting for the best roles.


It is a good program, but does not go far enough (maybe for legal reasons in at least some cases) to tell just how heated the craziness got.  The bitterness on the set of Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962) alone made an entire book possible, but the battles had passed their half-way point by then, which is why they agreed to team up to attempt to revive their careers.  It worked and their conflict is one of the reasons why.  With that said, much of the program spends its time tracking their careers maybe more than it should for being about their conflict.  The extra half-hour Hollywood Remembers segments on each of them is sometimes redundant, but is a nice inclusion, offering even more trailer footage than the main program, which does have a healthy helping of interviews.


All three programs originate on NTSC professional analog videotape and are 1.33 X 1 full screen with very little letterboxing, and only towards the end when films go widescreen.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is simple stereo at best on all three programs, but is often monophonic and varied throughout.  In all, this is a nice set of programs worth your time.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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