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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.

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, (co-director) (as Mark Catalena)

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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

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Certificate:

TV-14
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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 claimed that Bette Davis received her eighth Oscar nomination for her film The Star, but she actually received her ninth nomination for that film. Davis garnered her eighth nod two years earlier for the film All About Eve. See more »

Connections

Features The Man Who Played God (1932) 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

 
Bette Davis star of the silver screen
16 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

Some documentary biographies make interesting viewing in that we get to see aspects of their personalities, careers, and lives that we either had forgotten, or were just not aware of. "Stardust, The Bette Davis Story", directed by Peter Jones and seen recently on TCM, is that rare, but intelligent endeavor that makes the viewer more aware of the life of an actress that spent her life in front of the camera.

This film clarifies a lot of things about Ms. Davis' life that weren't as obvious as in other documentaries that came before. One thing comes clear, her father's desertion was a big blow to the young child, who felt abandoned by him. In spite of what should have been a bitter resentment on her part, she still kept in touch with him as noted by the many things about herself she sent him throughout the years. Her mother played a big role in Bette Davis life. Her ascent into stardom assured her mother and sister a life of ease they never had during the years that followed the breakup between her parents.

Another thing that comes across is how Ms. Davis had affairs with some of the men in the industry. One anecdote had Patrick O'Neal berating her for a pass she made at him during the run of "The Night of the Iguana" on Broadway. Her battles with Jack Warner is also prominently accounted for by Mr. Jones. Her battle with some of her directors were legendary, yet, Joseph L. Mankiewicz, her "All About Eve" director, tells us how in his experience, he was intimidated at first, based on colleagues' reports, yet, working on that film proved to be a pleasant experience for him, as well as the rest of the cast.

We also get to know her own daughter's rejection when B.D. Hyman got into religion. That was a terrible blow for a woman that had given her all to that child. Ultimately, this must have been what broke her heart. Triumphs and accolades were nothing to her if in the end she lost the daughter she loved so dearly.

The film uses well the many film clips the director and his team were able to assemble for this most informative and complete account of a life that appeared to be glamorous on the surface. Ms. Davis' life was in many ways rewarding, but deep down she must have felt differently when all the tragedy she went through is taken into account.

"Stardust: The Bette Davis Story" is a must for all of her fans.


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