Tag Archives: Bette Davis

The Also Rans – Stagecoach (Best Picture Nominee 1939)

Stagecoach movieposter.jpgDir. John Ford

Screenplay by Dudley Nichols, based on the short story “The Stage at Lordsburg” by Ernest Haycox

Starring John Wayne, Thomas Mitchell, John Carradine, Andy Devine and Claire Trevor

I resist John Wayne.  I always have and make no bones about why — he’s a rat bastard red-baiting jingoist war-monger and to this common-sense liberal, he’s repulsive.  And such is my repulsion that I can barely separate John Wayne the man from the characters John Wayne plays to such a degree I suspect he could play Ralph Nader and the only thing I’d think is, “My, it’s strange how conservative Ralph Nader is.”  To me, John Wayne’s a racist old grandpa we should be embarrassed about, not building films around.

Under the circumstances, it’s no surprise I’ve only seen three John Wayne films and have varying attitudes to them all:

  • True Grit
  • The Quiet Man
  • The Searchers

The Searchers, thought to be a classic, hardly registers with me beyond being racist in story and casting.  (Ironically, Gone With The Wind plays a similar game with it’s racial elements and yet, I don’t brush it off the same as I do The Searchers.  Rather, I’m apologetic of those elements to the point I’ve had to come to grips with being a massive hypocrite.) Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve

Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck

Written and Directed By Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Thelma Ritter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe and Marilyn Monroe

The story of All About Eve – about the way a naïve young woman ingratiates herself with the more successful older woman, only to reveal herself as far less than naïve when she usurps the older woman’s success – is probably as old as time. And if it’s not, it’s still probably safe to say that All About Eve wasn’t the first dramatic representation of the plot, and given that Showgirls basically recycled the plot 50 years later, with way more boobs, it’s also not the last. Continue reading

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