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Honored Contributor
Posts: 12,370
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

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Noon Eastern-- "The Watch on the Rhine".   Bette Davis, Paul Lukas, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Lucile Watson, Beulah Bondi, George Coulouris, Donald Woods, Henry Daniell

 

Bette has mysteriously returned to Washington DC to live with her slightly daffy but goodhearted socialite mother (Lucile Watson).  Her wealthy, hospitable mother and brother (Donald Woods) don't know that Bette's European husband (Paul Lukas) is quietly working against the Nazis, who have sympathizers everywhere, including perhaps among Lucile Watson's socially prominent houseguests...

 

Bette gives a quiet, nuanced performance in this as an adoring wife, terrified for the safety of her self-sacrificing husband. Paul Lukas is magnificent as this sensitive, brilliant idealist, and won a highly deserved Best Actor Oscar--  he's compulsively watchable throughout.  The film was also nominated for Best Picture.

 

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There's a continuous feeling of palpable danger amid the plush surroundings.  Additional enjoyments include house guests Geraldine Fitzgerald as a seething young countess, turbulently married to George Coulouris in his made-to-fit role a duplicitous Romanian aristocrat...

 

Interesting behind-the-scenes--  Staunch anti-Nazi Bette Davis tried to get the studio to give her second billing behind Paul Lukas.  They declined, saying that if she believed in the material so much and wanted the film seen, she'd be helping it by taking their preferred billing, due to her star power and ability to draw an audience. 

 

Bette's stance is at least one instance of her manifesting self-effacing behavior, something she was not exactly known for in Hollywood!

 

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Posts: 6,817
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

We own this film. It is probably one of my top 5 favorite films.

Great film about the mood of the  American people in regard to the Nazis.

2 great lines: When Bette tells her Mother if her husband doesn't come back then their son will go in to Europe.And if the older son does not come back than the younger will go.

Paul Lukas shoots the villian rather than give him the money that goes to the resistance.

Speaking of this film I even now have tears in my eyes.

I believe I read somwhere that BD insisted that Paul Lukas have equal billing w/her.

Mazels
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Posts: 6,817
Registered: ‎03-11-2010

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

I believe I am repeating myself. Excuse me.

Mazels
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Posts: 5,098
Registered: ‎03-14-2010

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

This is just my two cents - I don't understand programming on TCM sometimes.

 

Saturday it seems like there are light movies shown, cartoons and funny shows. And then at noon today a heavy hitter movie. Guess they are trying to keep us on our toes. 

 

Thanks, Oznell for the heads up. I don't want to miss this movie, especially with a cast like that.

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Registered: ‎05-14-2010

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

I adore Bette Davis. Thank you for the heads up!

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Posts: 55,806
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

This is a very good movie and it's been a while since I've seen it. I think I'll DVR it for later viewing. 


In my pantry with my cupcakes...
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Posts: 12,370
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

Agreed, gang, love this one-- the air of intrigue, espionage, the difficult moral questions, the complex Paul Lukas character.  Those were excellent scenes you mentioned, @hollysunshine ...

 

As many times as I've seen it, I can rarely resist watching it when it's on!

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Posts: 13,168
Registered: ‎07-26-2014

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

** Watching now **

 

@oznell  Had to laugh at that beautiful photo of BD.  No smoke coming from that supposidly lit cig. Smiley LOL

"Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."
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Posts: 12,370
Registered: ‎11-08-2014

Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

Ha, that's the film world, @Mz iMac --  all 'smoke (or no smoke, where there should be) and mirrors'...

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Re: BETTE DAVIS FLASH ALERT SATURDAY NOON EASTERN TCM

[ Edited ]

This film was based on a play by Lillian Hellman and Paul Lukas played the same role on Broadway. Actually, as is often the case, the film came after the play and was somewhat different. The Davis role was beefed up and while she was apparently the first choice to play her role, he was not. Interesting how things turn out. Charles Boyer turned down his role and because Davis was involved in making another film a number of actresses turned down what was ultimately her role. Obviously, she became available and because of her 'star' status, Dashiell Hammett, who wrote the screenplay augmented the original role from Hellman's play. Wonder if that led to tension, since I believe Hammett and Hellman were a 'thing' at one time...


In my pantry with my cupcakes...