James Spada Ø 9 ReadI ve read five Bette Davis biographies and find it impossible to rate one higher than the others
Inescapably many details are rehashed across all of them This one I liked not muchmany details are rehashed across all of them This one I liked not much less than the others I ve read However if I were recommending which ones to include in your coverage there are so many this would make my listAll the fabulous comical caricatures have redefined our memories of this wonderful actress Just watch her actual films though and you ll rediscover that she was nowhere near as over the top as you might have recalled she had far greater dramatic subtlety and nuance than her impersonators have led us to believe As a woman she was renowned for being earthier than her professional nemesis Joan Crawford and boasted of that making her perhaps the arrogant of the two yet no less adorable I like to make my own mind up about the subjects of biographies and usually canThat Bette Davis was no saint becomes clear enough after covering a few biographies that she was no monster either is also clear She was a fascinating woman and a great great star Bette Davis fans should be warned about reading this book which includes
most cursory treatment of her film work but a cornucopia of embarassing stories of drunken arguments with 3 of 4 husbands professional feuding and personal contrarinessIf I must read hundreds of pages describing Davis fairly appalling behaviour at the very least I would like some in depth acknowledgement of her extraordinary contribution to the golden era of filmI was filled with great sadness upon finishing this book I admire and respect the body of work that Davis produced and found it distressing to be forced to look away from it towards the salacious material that fills More Than a Woman Bette deserves better than to look away from it towards the salacious material that fills More Than a Woman Bette deserves better than An honest review Bette Davis was a brilliant woman possessed with sensitive acting ability She appeared to have been bi polar and self anesthetize herself with alcohol which only exacerbated this conditionStrong willed and focused however she appeared to have no insight about how she affected others Tragic Well writtenBette Davis was a brilliant woman with great acting ability She was undoubtedly bi polar She exacerbated her condition with alcohol which only intensified her mental healthThis is a personal tragedy for her as all tragedian are directly or indirectly responsible for their own downfall Well written A fascinating look at a wonderful actress but sometimes horrible human being I think the author does a good ob of trying to remain objective when chronicling the events of his subject s life he shows how Bette could be cruel ealous and petty but then goes into descriptions that show her humane side such as founding and putting countless hours into the Hollywood Canteen and constantly giving to her thankless daughter This book is a must read for classic movie fans. Who wrote a scathing Mommie Dearest style memoir and the disturbing possible reason for her adopted daughter Margot’s mental retardation And perhaps best of all you will get an intimate glimpse into Bette and her working relationships with numerous other Hollywood legends This film star biography explores her feuds with Joan Crawford Miriam Hopkins Helen Hayes and Lillian Gish; her affairs with William Wyler and other directors her impossible behavior on sets created by her insecurities; the “fire and music” she was able to bring to every role; and her fights against sexism for the control of her creative destiny By turns inspiring shocking and poignant Bette Davis More Than a Woman is a captivating film star biography you won’t soon forg. Ng only on the negative side of things Some of the sources are laughable interviews with ex husband Sherry his wife fired cooks and nannies Seriously among which BD s book My Mother s Keeper anyone who uses her book as a source is dead to me and Fasten Your Steatbelts by Laurence J uirk possibly the trashiest biography I have ever read What made me realize how biased this book is is the fact that I recognized some of interviews uoted by the author now available online for everyone to hear in which Bette sounded perfectly fine and pleasant and yet the author managed to twist her words and make her sound like the terrible person she wasn tBette Davis was determined and strived for excellency and as a result gave us some of the most powerful performances ever seen on screen How did she accomplish that Can we maybe talk about this She could be difficult I m not denying it but she was so much than that She could be very generous with the people she liked she had a wicked sense of humor and under the hard exterior she was uite down to earth and vulnerable Why do I rarely read about this As she often said she was larger than life and rightly so uoting Margo Channing peace and uiet is for libraries Bette Davis has never been one of my favorite actresses but there s no denying that she was a star This biography of her manages to walk the line and give an even handed account of her good and bad traits There are places where a little too much information is given I don t really care what her sexual adventures were but her personality comes through strong and clear and the book is compelling reading One way and a rough one at that to survive 81 years as a tightly wound nervous wreck Bette Davis has always been a favourite I enjoy her movies most specially the ones she did in the forties her most popular time in Hollywood Reading about her childhood family fears her ourney through life makes for very interesting reading Not necessarily a likeable person she was extremely difficult a prime diva yet an admirably strong woman who stood up for what she believed in and grasped life with both hands Seriously ambitious She was everything I imagined her to be and so much I am embarrassed to admit how glued to this book I actually was although not for the reasons most would think Never having been much of a fan of any celebrity certainly not of Bette Davis nevertheless I was curious as to how a virtual nobody could have risen to such heights of stardom even to attaining two Oscars and then to have seemingly lost it all Although remembered fondly as a great actress which may or may not have been true nevertheless Bette Davis was shrewish and miserable for much of her life and through many marriages and abortions Most certainly money fame and celebrity can only ust so muchand of what matters most James Spada is a superb biographer. just so muchand not of what matters most James Spada is a superb biographer. And Dangerous She wonthe most cursory treatment of her film work but a cornucopia of embarassing stories of drunken arguments with 3 of
Two Academy Awards Was The First PersonAcademy Awards was the first person accrue 11 Academy Award nominations and became the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute But who was this actress Based on three years of research and over 150 interviews with close family friends and co workers this Hollywood legend biography reveals for the first time the devastating effect on Bette of her father’s desertion; her oddly close relationship with her mother; her massive self doubts and numerous tempestuous marriages and extramarital affairs Spada exposes the disturbing cover up of the facts surrounding the sudden death of Bette’s second husband Arthur Farnsworth; the truth about her relationship with her daughter BD. .
There is a line in Lorrie Moore s story How to Be the "Other Woman Slam The "Woman Slam the like Bette Davis Offscreen onscreen the woman had attitude and it and she was tremendousThe writing itself well there is a a lot of editorializing a lot of reconstructed scenes as if out of a novel and I found myself having plenty of OH PLEASE moments because of this Still though this baby was a good one My problem with this biography is that the author tries to push a certain narrative down the reader s throat namely of Bette being a temperamental bitch which makes it really hard to sympathize with anything she ever did or said even if she was right In a way this is worse than a book blatantly against its subject because it tries to put certain ideas in your head but in a subtler way I believe the writing style which includes detailed descriptions of places dialogues and people s thoughts and feelings almost as if you were reading a novel contributes to this kind of deception It starts from the very first chapters describing her predecessors women in particular as rebellious and domineering not failing to mention the ancestor Who Was Burned At The was burned at the and who clearly passed on her witchy personality to Bette dwelling on her tantrums and fastidiousness as a child and often insinuating that a streak of madness mental disorder runs in the family If this was not enough according to the author and his PhD in psychology Bette had serious daddy issues which are brought up way too many times to ustify her insecurities and problems with the male sex Apparently it also influenced her acting abilities It wouldn t be the last time that Harlow s departure from the Davis family circle would inspire Bette to a brilliant performance PleaseIt goes on blaming Bette for practically everything her sister s nervous breakdowns an actor s suicide in the early 30s who allegedly had an unreuited crush on her her second husband s death the author had access to the coroner s inuest transcript and goes out of his way to prove his thesis that it was all a cover up and that Bette was actually responsible for his death AND the brain damage of her adopted daughterBette is described as a high strung irrational unstable sexually frustrated this is so offensive and sexist woman who fought
with EVERYONE Mindful Living with Aspergers Syndrome just for the sake of fighting which perpetuates the idea that she wasust aEVERYONE ust for the sake of fighting which perpetuates the idea that she was ust a bitch and not someone who cared deeply about her work and who had to fight in a man s world in order to have a career The author instead gives us a very unpleasant one dimentional portrayal At a certain point it got so bad that I couldn t help thinking surely in 81 years of existence she must have done ONE nice thing It is ust baffling to me how someone could spend 3 years of their life in research access to tons of material and come up with something like this that seems to be focusi. “Irresistible revelatoryBursts with film lore gossip countless affairs and family secrets” Publisher’s Weekly starred review “This is a truly riveting read chock full of meticulous details uicy anecdotes and profound insight” Liz Smith “James Spada has certainly done his homework and he charts Davis’s climb to fame with a meticulous attention to detail that his subject would surely appreciate and without ever losing sight of the woman who motivated the actress” Time Out London Best selling author James Spada has written the definitive biography of one of America’s greatest actresses Bette Davis Bette Davis participated in over 100 roles as an actress including the films What Ever Happened to Baby Jane Jezebel Dark Victory. .