Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Bette Davis

the old maid

That is Bette Davis in one of her classic films THE OLD MAID.  From WIKIPEDIA:

The Old Maid is a 1939 American drama film directed by Edmund Goulding. The screenplay by Casey Robinson is based on the 1935 Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Zoë Akins, which was adapted from the 1924 Edith Wharton novella The Old Maid: the Fifties (taken from the collection of novellas Old New York)

[. . .]



In 1935, the Los Angeles Times reported Ernst Lubitsch had purchased the screen rights to the Zoe Akins play and intended to cast Judith Anderson and Helen Menken, the stars of the Broadway production, in a film released by Paramount Pictures, but nothing came of the project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. bought the rights from Paramount in January 1939.[1]
Humphrey Bogart originally was cast as Clem Spender, but studio head Jack L. Warner felt he looked neither heroic nor romantic and had him fired after two days of filming. Bette Davis urged director Edmund Goulding and producer Hal B. Wallis to replace him with George Brent, who accepted the role despite the fact it was so small.[2]
Bette Davis as Charlotte Lovell
This was the first film in which Davis had equal screen time with a female co-star. "I was never mad about the part," she recalled in her 1962 autobiography A Lonely Life,[3] and she proposed she play both Charlotte and Delia.[4] Instead, the more colorful role of Delia went to Miriam Hopkins, with whom Davis had worked in Rochester, New York when the two were part of George Cukor's stock company, where Hopkins was the star and Davis the ingenue.[5] Hopkins resented the fact Davis had won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Jezebel, in which she recreated a role Hopkins had originated on Broadway, and she also was convinced Davis had had an affair with Anatole Litvak during her marriage to the director,[2] whom she was in the process of divorcing.[4] As a result, she did everything she could to undermine her co-star's performance. "Miriam is a perfectly charming woman socially," Davis remembered. "Working with her is another story . . . Miriam used and, I must give her credit, knew every trick in the book. I became fascinated watching them appear one by one . . . Keeping my temper took its toll. I went home every night and screamed at everybody." [3] Cinematographer Tony Gaudio complained that Hopkins kept altering the makeup designed by Perc Westmore in order to look considerably younger than Davis in the segments in which both were supposed to be aged.[5] Both actresses cited illness for failing to appear on set at various times, and the production fell eleven days behind schedule.[2]
The film's soundtrack includes "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (anachronistically) by Patrick Gilmore, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by William Steffe and Julia Ward Howe, "(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land" by Daniel Decatur Emmett, "Oh My Darling, Clementine" by Percy Montrose, and "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" by Stephen Foster.

Critical reception

Frank S. Nugent of The New York Times observed,
"It probably is not a good motion picture, in the strict cinematic sense, professing as it does such strict allegiance to its theatrical parent; unquestionably it is as dated as the Victorian morals code which scourges its heroine through eight or nine reels; in the rudest terminology, it is a tear-jerker. But there can be no doubt about its popularity. It should go on and on. For a bad play, it makes a surprisingly good drama; or, if you feel that way about it, for a good play it fits surprisingly well on the screen . . . Scenically, it is a trifle on the static side, which could not be avoided altogether. But dramatically it is vital, engrossing and a little terrifying . . . As the old maid, Miss Davis has given a poignant and wise performance, hard and austere of surface, yet communicating through it the deep tenderness, the hidden anguish of the heart-broken mother. Miss Hopkins's Delia is a less certain characterization, gentler than Miss Akins had contrived her, suggesting but seldom the malignance lurking beneath a charming manner."[6]
The critic for Time thought the film was
"hardly more than the sum total of two good, sometimes brilliant, performances . . . Though the musty setting of The Old Maid is enough to make anyone susceptible to historical hay fever squirm, few will be unimpressed with the skill with which director Edmund Goulding manages his spirited costars. Instead of trying to divide the fat parts between them, he so deals out their histrionic diet that they bank as did Jack Spratt and his wife, cooperatively."[5]
Variety called the film "stagey, sombre and generally confusing fare."[7]

THE OLD MAID is a strong film, even today.  And if you like classic movies, read Ava and C.I.'s "TV: Swindling the audience" and I think you will agree with them -- I do -- that a certain TCM host needs to stop trying to interject his personal politics on the air when he is supposed to be discussing films.


Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Wednesday, August 7, 2019.  Mike Gravel ends his campaign and endorses Bernie Sanders while, for too many others, the vanity campaigns roll on.

The nonsense never ends as the race fot the Democratic Party's presidential nomination takes place.  You've got the hysterical Neera Tanden clutching the pearls over Barack Obama (Republicans glorified Ronald Reagan! -- who the f**k cares?  Are we supposed to be Republicans?  We never glorified Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter.)

I'm sure your fam wasn't harmed by the Obama deportation machine. Mine was. Some of the fams of the ppl who were protesting Biden were. Stupid is running on a pro-immigrant platform, having an entire Democratic gov, not passing any legislation & instead deporting millions of us.

You've got so many weighing in when they know nothing.

For example, some are offended that Joe Biden is being forced to answer for the 1994 crime bill.  Bob Somerby's one of those.  He's whined about it here and here, for example.  Bob Somerby whimpers that others voted for it too!  Why are people so mean to Joe Biden when other people voted for it too!!!!

He sounds like the YOUTUBE crazy asking people to leave Britney Spears alone, doesn't he?

Stop the fake news, people.  Joe Biden's responsible for the 1994 crime bill and, if you don't believe me, why not believe Joe Biden himself?

July 24, 2007, candidate Joe Biden in "Fourth Democratic Debate" (transcript is THE NEW YORK TIMES' transcript):

And I do have -- I do have a record of significant accomplishment.  The crime bill, which became known as the Clinton crime bill, was written by Joe Biden, the Biden crime bill.  That required me to  cross over, get everyone together, not -- no one's civil liberties were in any way jeopardized.  We put 100,000 cops on the street.  Violent crime came down.  The Violence Against Women Act, what we did in Bosnia, and so on.  So I have a track record of being able to cross over and get things done.

"The crime bill, which became known as the Clinton crime bill, was written by Joe Biden, the Biden crime bill."  That's Joe speaking publicly in 2007.

Yeah, he deserves to be held accountable for the bill.  And he was happy to brag about it as late as 2007. 

Joe Biden Must Face a Reckoning For His Role in Building Mass Incarceration "Biden was not just the primary author of the 1994 Crime Bill, he was the primary author of most so-called crime bills from the 1970s until 2008."

Joe Biden just said prisoners should be given access to resources when they step out of jail, like Pell grants, but Biden's 1994 crime bill literally took away Pell grants from felons.

Replying to 
...if you author a crime bill that devastated an entire generation of young black men; if you fight instituting tools to help integrate schools; if you continue to put your hands and lips all over young women uninvited, you should reconsider your career path...

Replying to 
shouldn’t support ’s candidacy! The Crime Bill resulted in the mass incarceration of ! This policy has generational consequences for the !

There is one less candidate running for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Today we’ll be ending the Gravel 2020 campaign, as we have been planning from the start. It was an incredible honor to work for Mike, one of the greatest men of our time—someone of boundless courage and incredible tenacity.

Of course, this was not a “campaign” in the strict sense: we never wanted to win, and always made that clear. The campaign wasn’t about Mike as much as it was in his honor—it was a crowdsourced and intimately democratic project, about ideas rather than individuals.

  • We did a lot of good. We aired anti-Biden ads in Iowa and nationwide, and created and pushed the most detailed, radical platform of any candidate. We’ll be donating the funds, which we expect to come to $100,000, to Flint and a few other charities once we’re done with merch.

  • And the list of 67,000 active donors we compiled will be invaluable in helping Democrats like and —we hope to use it to aid progressive candidates as they wrest power from the establishment.

  • But the most enduring legacy of any campaign—think McGovern ‘72 or Sanders ’16—is its influence on young people. And we reached them: one Iowa Gravis poll showed us with 5.9 percent support (ahead of Harris and Warren) among people aged 18 to 29. That's a success.

  • A campaign for an 89-year-old, managed by teenagers, got several times more donations than five congressmen, two governors, a senator, and the mayor of America’s most populous city. And we frequently outpolled them, too! I mean—we qualified for the Democratic debates!

  • Mike isn’t perfect. We often differ with him. But he has that great virtue—rare among our political class—of being human. There is no artifice. As Rorty said: “If we look to people who make no mistakes, who were always on the right side...we shall have few heroes and heroines.”

  • This campaign, really, is about crafting a new society—a kind and gentle society, based on dignity and equality, solidarity and love. A good life for all, regardless of inborn traits or one’s station at birth. A world of peace and real freedom, democracy and fraternity.

  • We sought to make explicit themes whispered by larger campaigns—a revolt against the soullessness of contemporary politics, a forthright egalitarian populism reminiscent of Bryan, Long, and Yarborough, a desire to restore fun and camaraderie to politics.

  • We do not enjoy politics; it is an ignoble craft, and we have more respect for those who entered it out of a resigned sense of duty than those who think they have the mandate of heaven. We did this for Mike, a great man dishonored in his time, and for the principles we hold.

  • Irony and humor are important because they're tools to skewer the powerful, and we use them because they attract support. (It worked!) But beware of irony lapsed into fatalism. Be a happy warrior, be joyful—but be earnest. If you give into cynicism, you become useless.

  • Our favorite quote of Mike’s is from 2008, when he was asked about prayer: “What I believe in is love. And love implements courage.” Our politics, and Mike’s, is based in love, in the duty “to do justly and to love mercy.” As Dorothy Day said: “The final word is love.” That’s it.

  • So with that, the Gravel 2020 campaign is over. We want to thank our wonderful staff and supporters. We’re going on vacation and won’t be tweeting for a while. Henry is abroad right now; David will be traveling around New England. You can follow us at and .

  • This account will transition into the account for the Gravel Institute. Of course, the character of the account will thus change. (We’re not sure we’ll be running it!) Details for that will come later, after August.

  • We’ll eventually follow up with an article about what the Gravel campaign accomplished, and we’ll be thanking a few of our supporters individually over the next few weeks. Thank you all for what you accomplished. We are eternally grateful.

    Mike Gravel has endorsed Bernie Sanders.

    "I am proud and honored to endorse Senator Bernie Sanders for the presidency of the United States."


    This is why 's Bernie Sanders endorsement means so much. Here's Gravel breaking down while reading the 4,100 page Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. He read past 1 AM. No other senators were left in the room. He wanted to make sure every word was recorded.

    It is time for others to follow Mike's lead.  As we argued here on Sunday in "Talking entry" and at THIRD in "Editorial: Bye Tulsi" and "Joe Biden is not the answer," it's time for the vanity campaigns to close shop. Not only are you not going anywhere, you are keeping real candidates -- like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders -- from getting the time on the debate stage and in the media that they need to make important arguments.

    Tulsi's campaign is going nowhere.  Gabbard should focus her efforts on re-election before that's completely off the table.  Her sole reason for being on the debate stage was to call out endless wars and those who brought us the endless wars.  She refused to do that last week in the debate and then, much worse, spent the following days minimizing War Hawk Joe Biden's actions and lying about him saying he was 'sorry.'  She achieves nothing on the stage of value.  Her vanity -- even her vanity -- should have vanished long ago as she saw no support.

    Replying to 
    Unfortunately you refused to go after your friend on his disastrous Iraq vote and his warmongering leading up to the Iraq war. He was one of the main cheerleaders of the Iraq war! You blew a golden opportunity tonight to call him out on his warmongering!

    I am against the forever wars -- and I can call out Joe Biden -- but Tulsi never had a chance.  People don't like her.  More to the point, college students didn't like her.  As I repeatedly noted in the last months, there were few Tulsi supporters on campuses.  We went all over the country except Alaska (we've even been to Puerto Rico this year speaking) and Tulsi has no base.  People don't like her.

    Maybe she was too pretty to garner support?  It could be and if that helps her vanity and helps her move along to something else, Tulsi, you're too pretty.  They couldn't take you seriously because you were so pretty.

    People did not take to her.  She got a spot on the stage at the June debate and at the July debate and neither appearance bumped her support levels.  But college students never liked her and that's really a warning sign because (a) her age should have made it much easier for her to communicate with them (she's only 38) and (b) the issue of the forever wars (and the hypocrisy that surrounds them) are issues that matter to college students.  But over and over, we have encountered campus anti-war activists who supported Bernie or Elizabeth.  A few have supported Beto.  A few are supporting Adam Kokesh -- who has gotten no corporate media coverage.  The day after the last debate, was there any network that didn't have Tulsi on?  And still the polls show no movement for her.

    The vanity campaigns need to end.  That doesn't mean Tulsi will drop out.  We can't force her to.  You'd think her inability to get above 1% all of these months would have forced her to but apparently her vanity prevents both self-examination and embarrassment.  But if she cared about any cause that she pretends to, she'd be following Mike Gravel's lead and announcing she was closing her campaign and endorsing someone.

    She'd probably endorse Joe Biden because that's how useless she is.  But she needs to end her vanity campaign.

    . opposes war to his core that he voted for the Iraq War and even presented an award to a war criminal for endless war.

    New content at THIRD:

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