By David Thomson
“She may perhaps glance demure whereas behaving like an empress. Blonde, with eyes like pearls too mammoth for her head, she was once very amazing, yet marginally lovely and definitely now not appealing . . . however it used to be her aspect that made her memorable—her upstart superiority, her reluctance to faux deference to others.”
Bette Davis was once the commanding determine of the good period of Hollywood stardom, with a force and effort that placed her contemporaries within the coloration. She performed queens, jezebels, and bitches; she may well out-talk any male costar; she warred along with her studio, Warner Bros., labored like a demon, received via 4 husbands, used to be nominated for seven Oscars, and—no topic what—never gave up combating. this can be her tale.
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Extra resources for Bette Davis (Great Stars)
Note that, in almost all of these cases, two directors were assigned to a serial. This was because of the sheer bulk of material involved. Sometimes, directors worked on alternate days to keep from becoming burnt out; in other instances, one director would handle all the action scenes while another would shoot all the narrative exposition sequences. Serial 57 scripts were immense, often running to 400 pages or more (or four times the length of an average feature), yet shooting schedules and budgets were often minuscule and directors were expected to shoot as many as 70 “setups” (complete changes of camera angle and lighting) a day to stay on schedule.
It saved a lot of production time, but I thought it was a poor product that was nothing more than a doctored-up script from earlier days.
Subsequent episodes clocked in at roughly 20 minutes. Each episode ended with what the industry termed a “take-out” – a scene of violent peril from which the hero or heroine could not possibly escape. The next chapter would pick up the action at the same point, but offer a “way out” for the lead character: a trap door offering a convenient escape, jumping from a moving car, or breaking free from some sort of fiendish device created by the serial’s chief villain. The central characters in serials were more often types, rather than fully fleshed-out characters.