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Monday, July 13, 2015

Video Beaverhausen: Bette Davis & Olivia DeHavilland in In This Our Life

What a melodrama this is! Bette Davis is pure, full-throttle bitch opposite good sister Olivia De Havilland. Interesting that their character names are Stanley and Roy.

John Huston directed this 1942 film with such panache, you won't be able to take your eyes away from it.

Rosa Moline from Beyond the Forest, perhaps Bette's most famous evil character, actually pales  in comparison to Stanley Timberlake.

Screenplay by Howard Koch from a novel by Ellen Glasgow, music by Max Steiner, featuring Charles Coburn, Billie Burke, Dennis Morgan, George Brent and Hattie McDaniel, this is Warner Bros. in all its glory.

Bette steals sister Olivia's boyfriend, blames a drunk driving accident on a young black man studying to be a lawyer. (Of course the cops believe her because she's white and privileged. Still socially relevant, folks!) Bette's climactic scene with Coburn is dramatic fireworks, especially when she shouts at him, as he's dying, near the end:

All right, so you're going to die! But you're an old man, you've lived your life - I haven't lived mine! Mine's hardly begun! Think of me, uncle! Think of what'll happen to me if you don't get me out of this! You're not even listening! You don't care what happens to me any more than the others. You'd let me go to prison. All you're thinking of is your own miserable life. Well you can DIE for all I care! DIE!

Over the top? You bet! 

Now available on dvd. Not to be missed!