Friday, April 11, 2008


In part two of our Warner Brothers Box set overview we hit the career of Bette Davis. As the first two sets have taken more of the popular, well known titles away from the equation, we get some decidedly different films in this set.
As with the Gangsters set each disc comes with commentaries and a news reel and a cartoon that reflects the time period. Each of these discs are packed with some great bonus materials.
Now, on to the films themselves;
IN THIS OUR LIFE Davis plays a home wrecker that runs off with her sister’s husband. And that’s just for starters. The sparks fly in this early Davis effort.
THE OLD MAID gives us a woman who poses as the woman who bore Davis’ child born out of wedlock, but this deception is starting to become unraveled.
ALL THIS AND HEAVEN TOO gives us Charles Boyer as a man so infatuated with Davis that he murders his wife to be with her. Don’t believe for an instant that Bette is as innocent as she acts in this flick. Have you ever known Bette Davis to play the innocent?
THE LIE pits Davis against Mary Astor as a concert pianist. Don’t you know that friends make the best enemies? Davis knows and goes to prove it in this tight little film.
DECEPTION gives us the triple threat of Davis along with Claude Rains and Paul Henreid in a tale of musicians, indiscretions and, of course, murder,
Finally, in a play by Lillian Hellman adapted by Dashiell Hammett we get WATCH ON THE RHINE with a leader of an anti-Hitler underground being hunted by Nazi agents in Washington DC. Probably the edgiest film of the bunch.
This is a great bunch of films that aren’t as well known as some of Bette Davis’ more popular films, but deserve the attention that those films receive. Warner Brothers deserves credit for not only bringing these films to DVD format, but including a plethora of extras that place the films in their timeframe and make them important as a vital part of American film history.

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