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Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006)

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Combining unprecedented access to Davis' vast personal archives with original interviews, this documentary reveals a startling portrait of one of hollywood's most gifted and enigmatic stars.

Directors:

, (co-director) (as Mark Catalena)

Writer:

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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Narrator (voice)
... Herself (archive footage)
Ruthie Davis ... Herself (archive footage)
Michael Merrill ... Himself
... Himself
Marion Sherry ... Herself
... Himself
Cecil Clovelly ... Himself (archive footage)
... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Casey Robinson ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
... Himself as Montgomery Royle (archive footage)
Leo Rosten ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
... Himself (archive footage)
... Herself
... Herself
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Storyline

A standard biography of the famed actress recounting her childhood, early films and her rise to stardom. Her father abandoned the family when she was quite young and she remained close to her domineering mother. As she became more popular she had many fights with Jack Warner, the head of Warner Brothers studio, but eventually managed to exert greater control over her career. She was nominated for several Oscars. Her private life life included several failed marriages and she was deeply hurt when her daughter, who was her closest companion for several years, wrote a tell-all and unflattering memoir of her life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14
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Details

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Release Date:

3 May 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Bette Davis-Story  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

This documentary claims that Arliss saw Bette in a play,"The Wild Duck". In fact, character actor Murray Kinnell after working with Davis advised Arliss to have her read for him, as he knew Arliss was looking for a specific type for a film and Kinnell thought that Davis might suit Arliss. Arliss was unfamiliar with Davis but had worked with Kinnell in the theater as well as on film. See more »

Connections

References The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Dust
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

Good Mix of Film Clips, Archived Self-Talks & Commentaries by Peers
9 March 2008 | by See all my reviews

For me, it's difficult to pick who was the greatest actor of the 20th century: Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck? Each had to work harder than men actors to get roles portraying strong women characters; each played so many diverse lead characters they they couldn't be stereotyped into a typical role; each had sensational acting ability; each couldn't be cast as simpleton sexual objects for men to exploit; each was utterly devoted to her acting career for their entire lifetime; each didn't receive nearly enough official recognition by being awarded for outstanding leading and supporting characters; each stoled the shows from great leading actors in nearly every scene they played; each was not what would be called a 'raving beauty', and yet, on film, their spirits brought the beauty forth from within themselves in such a fashion to become gorgeous; each allowed themselves to be cast in highly controversial roles well before the social issues were talked of in their time. Having said all of that, I cast my vote for Bette Davis as the greatest actor of the 20th century.

This biographical documentary of Bette Davis' work and life is revealed quite expertly well through a well balanced mixture of actual film clips from some of Davis' great silver screen performances, television talk-shows when she reveals key intimate details about her life, values, beliefs, and sensibility.

The film biographers of "Stardust..." do a remarkably fine job of selecting clips of Davis' peer commentators who were knew Davis as their friend, mother, acting mentor, neighbor, and a kids-turned-actors who grew up either on stage with Davis or in her home.

This is one of the most well balanced film biographies of an actor that I have viewed (repeatedly). There are historic clips not available (at this time) to the public, included in "Stardust...." This, for a Davis collector, it is a must own, especially in DVD format.


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