Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cat fight

Old Acquaintance (1943) Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins were schoolgirl chums. With former leaving home town to carve literary career, while latter settles to happy marriage .Davis returns for lecture and, as guest of former pal, finds her with child and writer of hot sexy novels which she agrees to read and submit to publishers.

To their surprise, Millie's book becomes a bestseller, and a decade later she's one of the most successful authors in America, easily eclipsing Kitty's more highbrow work.

Behind the scene.

Miriam Hopkins had appeared memorably in Davis's biggest hit of the '30s, The Old Maid (1939), despite off-screen fireworks between the stars, so they offered the role to her. Then she made so many demands -- $5,000 a week salary, complete control over her hair, makeup and costumes.

Memories of Hopkins' off-screen antics during The Old Maid threw Davis and Goulding, who had directed the film, into a panic.... When Hopkins started making more demands, Goulding had a heart attack, so the studio replaced him with rising young director Vincent Sherman.

Hopkins immediately started pulling every trick she could to upstage Davis and throw her off.... Finally the day came to shoot the characters' big showdown, in which Davis was supposed to shake Hopkins viciously and then throw her into a chair.... (click play to watch)

At Goulding's urging, Davis had agreed to cast screen newcomer Gig Young as the naval officer Kit loses to her rival's adult daughter. Although both were married, and Young was five years younger, he and Davis carried their on-screen relationship into their private lives with a series of late-night trysts in her dressing room.

Did You Know??

Bette Davis personally requested the casting of Norma Shearer in the role of Mildred Drake. Shearer refused the role and the part went to Miriam Hopkins.

Later remade as Rich and Famous (1981) with Candice Bergen and Jacqueline Bisset.

No comments: