Bette Davis - Monday, February 9, 2014

The American Treasure Tour blog got into a happy rut last week when we began talking about some of the actors whose work is regarded as some of the best to ever reach the big screen. Bogart, Hepburn, Grant.  Great actors, and all appear in the ATT Music Room.  There are many more, and today we are going to talk about Bette Davis.  

In the 1930's and 1940's, the general perception of women was as homemakers, happy to raise their children and take care of their husbands.  But then, actors like Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis came along and presented strong-willed, often working women prepared to stand up for and take care of themselves.  Today, these two women are considered the best of their trade.  What does that say?  Davis (1908-1989) was born in the industrial town of Lowell, Massachusetts, but lived something of a pampered life before she started her career as an actor in her twenties.  She did well in Hollywood, performing in over one hundred films, television series, and theatrical performances.  If you are unfamiliar with her work, start your education with 1950's All About Eve.  We will be happy to recommend more of her greatest films if you like that one!

QUESTION:  What is Bette Davis' most iconic line from All About Eve?
A)  Bill is thirty-two.  He looks thirty-two.  He looked it five years ago, he'll look it twenty years from now.  I hate men.
B)  So many people know me.  I wish I did.  I wish someone would tell me about me.
C)  Fasten your seatbelt.  This is going to be a bumpy night.
D)  Nice speech, Eve.  But I wouldn't worry too much about your heart.  You can always put that award where your heart ought to be.

QUINCY:  The twentieth amendment passed in 1933, which changed the date of the inauguration of a new president from March 4th to January 20th to reduce the lame duck period of a departing president.  It's a good thing March 4th was the date in 1825, though, because it was not until today - February 9th - that the fight between Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams was resolved by the House of Representatives.  Neither man had won a majority of the electoral votes, so Congress decided for Adams.  Adams could hardly be said to have enjoyed his single term as president, though.

WANT A BANANA?  Generally, we try to stick to United States citizens for our birthday celebrants here at the American Treasure Tour blog, but this woman is special.  Carmen Miranda is likely one of the most famous Brazilians to appear in Hollywood movies - and have a place on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!  Known for wearing headgear filled with fruit, with dancing and with that infectious smile, Miranda starred in over a dozen films before her popularity started to wane.  Although she lived in the States for much of her life, she requested to be buried in Brazil after her passing in 1955 at the young age of 46.  Happy birthday, Carmen!

QUOTE:  Old age is no place for sissies. - Bette Davis

ANSWER:  If you didn't pick C)  Fasten your seatbelt.  This is going to be a bumpy night, then you REALLY need to see this movie.  All the lines are from All About Eve and there are many more like them.