Hollywood Rivals: Bette Davis/Joan Crawford
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