Bette Davis vs. Joan Crawford

Discussion in 'Movies' started by ClassyCo, Mar 15, 2017.

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Who do you prefer?

  1. Bette Davis

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  2. Joan Crawford

    1 vote(s)
    6.7%
  3. Both

    6 vote(s)
    40.0%
  4. Neither

    2 vote(s)
    13.3%
  1. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    Considering FX's Feud that has recently premiered, I thought this would be a good time to get a forum started on Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Their feud was infamous. Few actresses have been compared so much over the years as these two have. There one picture together, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), has become a popular camp classic.

    It seems that the majority agree that Davis was the better actress, while Crawford was the greater beauty. I most disagree on both accounts. Davis was an underrated beauty, and Crawford was an underrated actress (by most accounts, anyhow). Both actresses won Oscars: Davis for Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938) and Crawford for Mildred Pierce (1945). Crawford was a box office powerhouse years before Davis got the "meaty" roles she is known for. By the time Davis was the "Queen of Warner Brothers", Crawford was proclaimed "box office poison" and many saw her as a has-been. When they each worked for Warner's throughout the forties, Crawford more or less took Davis' leftovers, and did the roles justice if I do say so myself.

    Anyways, I don't want to get into a whole biography about their rivalry and stuff. I honestly cannot say which actress I would prefer. Both of them did exceptionally well in their films, even in the weaker films when their acting more than made up for the bad writing. Davis is known for play "tough" women, while Crawford is more known for the "glamour" type of outings. Both actresses had a "sameness" throughout their work (Yes, they kind of did). But there isn't anything wrong with that; familiarity works well by establishing an image with your audience.

    I guess I'm going to cast my vote for both. What's your thoughts? Comments please, and let's be nice.
     
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  2. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Star

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    "...and let's be nice." ???
     
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  3. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    Well, usually when threads like these are started some people get a little critical of the one they don't like. If they prefer Crawford, they tear down Davis, and vice versa. I thought this topic would be an interesting one (and I'm certain it will be), but I don't want it to become a fussy forum.

    And by the way, is this Snarky Oracle?
     
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  4. darkshadows38

    darkshadows38 Soap Chat Fan

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    well 1stly i love both and there is no good way to say this but to use humor and say well that both women could be bitches. both had the same amount of husbands, both had kids that wrote books about them and went WTF at some point in their life. both had kids who on some things prolly did tell the truth, i am more to believe a LOT of the things that Crawfords daughter said compared to Davis because Crawford if you know her history a bit as a kid was raised just like she raised her kids minus the money. if my memory is right on whatever bio i saw this on she was raised in a laundry room more or less and her parents made nothing pretty much and in fact were so poor that she was beat by a coat hanger just like she later beat her daughter with. but i'm more to believe she at least once hit Christina with it. her saying how many she's done it really has changed through the years but i think it did happen.

    and it wouldn't surprise me if she treated her kids like that because she was raised that way although i doubt it ever occured to her at all that's what did in fact happen. with Crawford i'm sure she loved her kids but the way she was in real life i can see her treat her kids like that and go overboard on various things even things that didn't involve them.

    as for Davis part of the she was is because she raised without a father figure since he left her at a young age. i can't remember if crawfords father was also absent to be honest. but her mom also raised her. with Davis though she even said in her bio that she thinks the reason she married was because she in a way looking for a father figure of sorts in a man or something like that. i prolly have her words wrong though but you i'm sure get what i'm trying to say. though a father figure though she did have was with George Arliss a WONDERFUL actor who cast her in "The Man who played God' from (1932) i think that was the 1st film she got some notices for a film that were positive. he saw something in her and treated her like a daughter as well. than you have a few years later whens he fought the studio for better roles and she lost in England and than was still there when he showed up and his advice to her was let them win and go home. you've made your point get over the anger and go home. and he turned out being right cause when she got home she soon did get better roles.

    what's funny is that both women had so much in common and their history was so simliar in many ways that you'd think they'd be life long friends. but it also wouldn't surprise me that is why they hated each other as well. they had too much on common and didn't like to admit to each other or themselves what they saw. with Davis though i never got the impression she was an awful mother though. i think she did the best she could and her daughter got brainwashed by that douch bag she married. and still is brainwashed though i'm not cracking on religion at all i have nothing against it. it's the man she married i'm talking about not religion itself. just to be clear, both also could be VERY stubborn.

    and both could be very HARD to worth with, in both cases you saw that they would could work well with others. i dunno why each would find faults in certain people and so forth an trouble would start. but it i don't think it was all their fault either it no doubt was the people at times fault they worked with too. Sterling Hayden said about her i'll never work with her again not for all the money in the world and i like money. great comment & a pretty good western i think they did too. but i believe part of it was also his fault as well.

    having said all this i do love them as actresses. and can spend a whole day watching their films. though Crawfords (1930) film Montana Moon is so bad that my hair i think turned grey while watching it. that was made before she got famous. Cliff Edwards was in that one who i think later did the voice for Jimmy Cricket and if i'm wrong on the character i know it was something Disney. Davis also didn't sleep around as much as Crawford did i don't think either. well there's a good starter and me giving both women good points and bad ones too.
     
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  5. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Star

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    And they were both Sun in Aries/Scorpio Rising (with different moon signs, which changes the substance some what) -- the horoscopic configuration par excellence of the diva.

    Generally, I prefer Bette but sometimes Crawford gets underrated, although both were obviously of the diva ilk and that often involves a lot of posing and unrequired narcissistic melodrama. But then, narcissistic melodrama is what you tend to be looking for when you sit down to view a film with Davis or Crawford.

    I've said before that while Kate Hepburn was always going after the truth, albeit self-righteously, Bette was often lying and tell the truth with mesmerizing venom. But what made Crawford so hypnotic was that she was always lying about everything -- even when what she was saying something that was technically factual.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Star

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    I have watched a whole lot of Davis and Crawford films. Bette Davis is the consistently better actress. Joan Crawford made a handful of great films with great performances and whole load of crap. Saying that when Crawford is on her A game I think I prefer her to Davis. Joan is frustrating to watch at times because you know there is a fantastic actress there but she cocks it up time and again with her insecurity and unwillingness to really go for anything beyond a glamour role.
     
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  7. Angela Channing

    Angela Channing Soap Chat Mega Star

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    I really like both actresses but I think they were both great film stars rather than great actresses. I say that because on occasions both had a tendency to be a bit hammy with their performances or to be a bit wooden. However, what they both always had was a great screen presence: when they were in a scene your attention was drawn towards them regardless of who else was on screen with them.

    I agree with Alexis that "Bette Davis is consistently the better actress" and she also had a more commanding screen presence.
     
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  8. Barbara Fan

    Barbara Fan Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I prefer Bette Davis
    Kinda grew up watching her as she was my mums fav actress
    Love dark Victory, Now Voyager

    I think Joan hammed it up more
     
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  9. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    I have quite a few of Davis and Crawford movies. I don't know if I agree with Davis consistently being the "better actress", but I can agree that Crawford's films seemed to have a more "glamour" quotient than Davis' films. I guess I'm partial to the glamour-type movies, so in the long run, I may prefer Crawford overall. On the face of it, both Davis and Crawford had a sameness in the majority of their roles, and there's nothing wrong that by any means.
     
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  10. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Star

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    Really though Crawford made a lot of stinkers. Where I generally don't find that with Bette Davis. Even in a bad film Bette is good.
     
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  11. darkshadows38

    darkshadows38 Soap Chat Fan

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    i dunno who i think is the better actress to be honest. i love them both, there are plenty of films where they are not on the best. a good example of Davis not on her top form is in i think it was The Bad Seed" i think the name of it is ? her 1st film from (1931) yes it's an early role but she's not very good in it. there's also a couple others around that time she wasn't very good in. honestly i'd love to say that both of them did a lot of great films and they did. they just weren't always good in certain ones. now having said that i haven't seen them all yet. i just LOVE "The Unknown ' (1927) with Lon Chaney Sr. Worth a watch by the way. i think both of them could ham it up as well. it just depended on the film i think. Davis did do a lot of better films because she wasn't stuck in just doing horror like Crawford was in the 60s'.

    though i do love straight-jacket and a few others i love that era for her. but i can see why she hated it. no doubt Davis had a better agent as well. though she did her fair share of bad films as well. of Human Hearts (1934) may have been Davis's 1st film where she was nominated and i forget if she won that year or not? but honestly the film is terrible and though she was nominated i honestly don't think it's one of her best acting jobs. she wasn't in my book not very good in it. the make-up though was great though for the time.

    Mr. Skeffington is an over-long film that had fantastic make-up by i am guessing Ben Nye. though it's not among my favorites of hers but it has it's moments though such as that ending that is sad but pretty good i think. i love the fact that she didn't give a damn what she looked like on screen as long as it worked for the film.

    Crawford though was to into her own looks i think. what's funny is if you look up Davis's bio that she wrote she admits that when she 1st came to hollywood and before that she admired Crawford and idolized her. i wonder when that did change? the more i think about it the more i think i love Davis more because she can do more range and experiment with the roles. though i think the nanny is an awful film her look in it as fantastic. Davis also realized she couldn't play the young lover forever and did change at some point in doing films that didn't call for it. Crawford though could not accept the fact that he got old in the 60's. and that's why she retired from the industry well that and the scripts she was getting. she hated how she looked at the end of her life. refused to accept she wasn't 35 anymore. Davis i think accepted it and doing all the various looks i think helped her deal with that in her own way. but still i love them both though. even though both of them could be drama queens in their own ways.
     
  12. Karin Schill

    Karin Schill Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I voted neither. Of course I recognize both stars and know of their magnitude but as far as I can remember I have never watched any Joan Crawford movies and only watched two Bette Davis movies, "The Virgin Queen" and "Winter Meeting". I am not sure why but these stars leave me rather indifferent. I guess it's a matter of taste as we all have our favorites and when it comes to these types of tough a bit more masculine stars I much prefer Katharine Hepburn.
     
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  13. Snarky's Ghost

    Snarky's Ghost Soap Chat Star

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    Based on what?? THE NANNY is generally regarded as Davis' last layered role of her big screen career, and Davis was mightily impressed by Seth Holt as a director. AJ Benza may claim that THE NANNY is awful, but few others do -- it's in fact an excellent small picture.
     
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  14. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Star

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    I appreciate it more now than I did the first time I saw it. I was expecting something different when I first saw it, something more classic Hammer. It is a genuinely creepy and sad film though.
     
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  15. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    I couldn't exactly tell you who made more good movies or more bad ones, but I could tell you that I have seen more movies of Crawford's that I like better than Davis'.
     
  16. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat TV Fanatic

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    :eck: :byee: ;)
     
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  17. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    I enjoy many Katharine Hepburn movies too, particularly her comedies. I'm wild about Stage Door, Bringing Up Baby, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. I don't know if prefer Hepburn over Davis or Crawford per se, but I do enjoy many of films.

    Now the one I don't like is Barbara Stanwyck... Have never, ever liked her.
     
  18. Alexis

    Alexis Soap Chat Star

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    Ya like Crawford more than Davis and Stanwyck?!?!

    Somewhere an angel just got it's wings clipped. lol
     
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  19. ClassyCo

    ClassyCo Soap Chat Active Member

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    I said I may prefer Crawford overall. I actually straddle the fence as to whom I prefer out of Crawford and Davis. I've seen more of Crawford's movies, and I do think that her work in its entirety is underrated. Davis, although I do enjoy her performances, can be a tad overrated. As for Stanwyck, I've only seen a handful of her movies, and I didn't like any of them. I recorded a few off TCM when they would air, but I just couldn't sit through them. I just don't care for her.
     
  20. darkshadows38

    darkshadows38 Soap Chat Fan

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    the nanny just is a film that i went with high expectations in fact and i was let down by them. perhaps if i had low expectations i would have liked it more. i base it on my opinion that's all. not all her films are good regardless what era it is. in fact the one she did with jim Davis i think was awful too but also think he was pretty bad in it as well. and i don't think Jim davis as a bad actor at all. it was the script and i think the director in that one. Ronald Regan also was pretty bad in it as well. but to each their own. for me Elizabeth and Essex i thought was a complete boring film that many love and that's fine. i think it's awful film but the acting is superb in it. that's based on my own opinion i watched that one for 2 reason Davis and Vincent Price as that's one of his 1st films.

    as for the vote i put both cause there are times i'm in the mood for one or the other to watch or both. it just depends on what era of hollywood i'm in the mood for. and johnny Guitar i think was the name of the film i was thinking of?
     
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