Saturday, 24 September 2011

Not written on the wind - on Bette Davis

"I'm the nicest goddamn dame that ever lived."

THE GIRL WHO WALKED HOME ALONE (2006) by Charlotte Chandler is the biography of an actress who many people consider the queen of classic Hollywood: Bette Davis.

Actually I have the feeling that you either love her or loathe her – I don’t know any person yet who is completely untouched by her.

To read the book is like listening to a resolute old aunt telling about her life – Charlotte Chandler lets Miss Davis talk a lot by herself – so that there are some “Bette said…” / “Bette told...”bits. Many co-stars and cotemporaries have their say here, too. In the end you’ll get a good picture of this unbelievable energetic, goal-directed and not always diplomatic woman.Charlotte Chandler tries to give an objective view – though the keynote of the book is positive, there are quotes of persons who obviously were no fans of Miss Davis.

Almost every one of her flicks (well – I for one missed THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D with James Cagney..) is combined shortly – and of course there is a filmography in the end. This book is a good one for beginners – I’d like to have learned more about her sister Bobby – well.. who knows.. – maybe there isn’t more to know.. I will go on in my studies.. And of course there are pictures in this book – not so many but a few also including some private photos.

~ Bette with a friend.. ~

While reading this book you will for sure notice Miss Davis absolutely marvelous sense of humor:

They weren’t the biggest – but they weren’t bad either.”

is no quote about her film parts (as you know: those were the biggest – and even if not she made them the biggest..) but about her breasts…

Honest: I love that woman!!

How couldn't I? A woman saying things like

"I want to die with my high heels on..."

?? ... yay for that!

She was not only an avid animal lover (and all of you who visited this blog before noticed that this is a giant plus in my book) - she was also very (very!) outspoken about her sex life – so after you read this book you’ll know of which English actor she thought while having sex with other men – or “enjoying herself” ... and that she thought Errol Flynn was a bad lover – though she never “tested” that.. (as far as I can tell from reading Errol Flynn’s autobiography: he wasn’t eager to find out her qualities in that relation either..)

~ not in the book - just beautiful.. ~

Oh – and she finally resolves the secret about the famous Bette Davis’ eyes: brown mascara.

But beware! There is at least one risk – while reading the book you could be tempted to do at least one Bette-Davis-film-night. Hm… ….

Thank you for listening,

yours (very well, bookish and) truly



  1. Oh, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Bette! She is hands-down my favorite actress ever.

    I haven't seen this book. I do own another one...Bette Davis, Larger Than Life. It's very informative and interesting. In some ways, I enjoy these peaks into my favorite stars' lives; on the other hand, I sometimes find out things I would rather not know (like that they were cheating spouses), so I've kind of forced myself to stay away from reading bios of too many stars. Gotta keep them on their pedestals!!

    About The Bride Came COD...since I think James Cagney is the best actor there has ever been and Bette is the best actress there has ever been, I had high hopes for that film. (They did another film together, "Jimmy the Gent" which I've never seen.) Anyhow, I'm not a huge comedy fan, and I think they both SO excelled at drama, so I felt they were wasted in The Bride Came least for me. I would have loved to have seen the two of them together in a very meaty drama.

    Have a wonderful weekend,

  2. Patti, thank you! (for weekend-wishes and for leaving a comment!)

    I can totally see your point - in both parts: not reading too many biographies and THE BRIDE CAME C.O.D. - still I thought the film could at least have been mentioned - because I would have liked to know about how Bette Davies felt about it..

    Hope your weekend is equally wonderful!


  3. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! Yes, I love Bette :-) And I really like the fact that Bette & Marilyn liked each other even if they were pretty different. I should read the book again...

  4. So after reading this book, we will be tempted into one Bette film a night? Ok, I can do that.

  5. Susan - that's great that you love, love, love (yes, love) her, too! :") I always think it's great when two people one likes like eachother, too..

    Monty - actually it was more a full night of Bette films.. to be honest several nights filled with Bette films..


I really appreciate your comments - I'll read them all and if I can think of an answer I'll post it. :")