2/20/17

HUSH HUSH SWEET BETTE



Did you know Bette Davis could sing? She could. Sort of. Apropos of my previous posting featuring a behind-the-scenes look at the making of "Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?", I am now veering into "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" territory. The film was a sort of follow-up to WHTBJ and began production with both Davis and Joan Crawford re-teamed. But Crawford walked after a few days of shooting, claiming illness--yeah, right. Production was shut down and the film was almost abandoned (in which case it would have been a prime candidate for my D.O.A. Film Festival). Director Robert Aldrich apparently offered the role to, among others, Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck and Vivian Leigh, all of whom passed. (The Leigh pass is curious--she might have been ill at the time as it seems like a great opportunity for her at that sad and late stage of her career). Finally Davis's old Warner Brothers friend Olivia De Havilland bailed things out and the show went on. This clip is from a Steve Allen hosted "I've Got A Secret", broadcast shortly after the films seven Oscar nominations were announced. Bette sings the theme song quite sourly--perhaps she didn't trust herself to do it? She didn't have the hit with it. Patti Page did.

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