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Mr. Skeffington (1944)

I know this doesn't get mentioned alongside Bette Davis's most famous films, but I always thought it was a fun film and a wonderful entry in her filmography. It's wonderful to watch Bette run in the opposite direction of beauty and here it could be argued we see some prototype work of her Baby Jane appearance.

Sweet, funny, horribly sad, and then the perfect ending to round it back to sweetness.

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by Anonymousreply 53April 14, 2024 10:46 PM

I think this is Bette's best performance ever. In the beginning, she actually makes you believe she's beautiful (when God know she wasn't.) And in the end, she throws all caution to the wind and makes herself as ugly as she could be. Well, not as ugly as Baby Jane but that came up later.

Other movies she made are more iconic and famous but she deserved an Oscar for this.

by Anonymousreply 1March 31, 2024 11:49 PM

When I first got home from the hospital after the operation following three years worth of cancer treatment, I took one look in the mirror and screamed "oh no! I'm Fanny Skeffington!" But no one heard my cries of woe and they wouldn't have understood anyway.

by Anonymousreply 2March 31, 2024 11:57 PM

This and Old Acquaintance are my favorite Bette movies.

by Anonymousreply 3March 31, 2024 11:58 PM

This is my favorite Bette Davis movie. It’s epic.

by Anonymousreply 4April 1, 2024 1:06 AM

From memory the music is sledgehammer.

by Anonymousreply 5April 1, 2024 1:08 AM

Fanny the beauty...

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by Anonymousreply 6April 1, 2024 1:12 AM


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by Anonymousreply 7April 1, 2024 1:16 AM

I bought this movie off of Amazon showed it to my husband when he came down to visit me because we've been separated a longtime yes I was a lot like the character in the movie had a lot of men even while I was married. I showed this movie to my husband. I told him either we get back together now that we are old and sick or we divorce I'm still going to get the money.

by Anonymousreply 8April 1, 2024 1:20 AM

I would not have said Mr. S was sweet and sad, but bitter and ironic.

Still, OP, I agree with you on the main point: it is one of her great performances.

by Anonymousreply 9April 1, 2024 1:28 AM

Isn't this the film where Bette was a nightmare to director Vincent Sherman? He slept with her and she was easier for a few days then she was back to being bad.

by Anonymousreply 10April 1, 2024 1:37 AM

Was Trippy Trellis gay?

by Anonymousreply 11April 1, 2024 1:38 AM

Bette and Claude were always marvelous together.

by Anonymousreply 12April 1, 2024 1:41 AM

R12, yep!

by Anonymousreply 13April 1, 2024 1:43 AM

Alexis Smith tells a funny story about this movie. Bette wasn't sure she wanted to do it. So Warners tested Alexis. When Bette found out she went to Alexis and said - If I can't play the part, YOU certainly can't.

by Anonymousreply 14April 1, 2024 1:44 AM

R10, yes. I believe this is also the film where the crew allegedly contaminated Bette’s eye drops because she was such a bitch on this set

by Anonymousreply 15April 1, 2024 2:04 AM

[quote]but bitter and ironic.

Yes ironic, r9, but bitter? It works out in a very romantic, O. Henry type of way.

by Anonymousreply 16April 1, 2024 2:10 AM

“Manby, would you call Janie Clarkson and tell her I can't possibly see her for lunch today?”

Did we ever see Janie Clarkson?

by Anonymousreply 17April 1, 2024 3:23 AM

I was waiting for Janie appear in this thread.

by Anonymousreply 18April 1, 2024 3:28 AM

r18 see r3

by Anonymousreply 19April 1, 2024 4:03 AM

Why wasn't it called Mrs. Skeffington?

by Anonymousreply 20April 1, 2024 5:03 AM

Loved Claude Rains in this.

by Anonymousreply 21April 1, 2024 6:18 AM

R17, no we never actually see Janie Clarkson, she’s just a running gag throughout the film

by Anonymousreply 22April 1, 2024 9:36 AM

R16 Perhaps bittersweet is the most accurate word.

by Anonymousreply 23April 1, 2024 3:16 PM

A fun movie I fondly remember from watching on Detroit's TV 50's "Bill Kennedy at the Movies." Bette freely admitted she wasn't a great beauty, but went for it! I always thought Vivien Leigh would have been perfect, but she was in war time England. WB's own Ida Lupino would have been a good choice, but this was a big budget costume movie... so Bette got it. Here's my look at "Mr. Skeffington."

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by Anonymousreply 24April 1, 2024 4:30 PM

How many movies had Bette paintings? There was also Eve and, of course....

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by Anonymousreply 25April 1, 2024 5:08 PM

Long, boring and unbelievable. Even on her best day she can’t act beautiful because she wasn’t. And she is far too old to play to play a young Fanny. Rains is good. But I never care for these people and Davis overacts with that horrible voice. No one would go and see this bs now. Made for stupid American women.

by Anonymousreply 26April 1, 2024 6:42 PM

Nobody cares what you think, r26.

by Anonymousreply 27April 1, 2024 6:48 PM

R27 = Vincent Sherman

by Anonymousreply 28April 1, 2024 6:50 PM

R26 The Grinch.

by Anonymousreply 29April 1, 2024 6:52 PM

Right to my opinion R27 you lonely fat queen! I doubt if you are doing anything more important than trying on wigs. If you were getting fucked and happy you wouldn’t give man what I think about this old film.

by Anonymousreply 30April 1, 2024 6:59 PM

Your desperation for attention is pathetic, r30.

by Anonymousreply 31April 1, 2024 7:02 PM

Who is more pathetic -the person who wants attention or the ass who gives it to him.

by Anonymousreply 32April 1, 2024 8:03 PM

I made my point, r32.

by Anonymousreply 33April 1, 2024 8:16 PM

Love this movie (and Bette). Her affectations and exaggerated voice suit the character of Fanny Skeffington

by Anonymousreply 34April 1, 2024 9:22 PM

It's interesting how old movies portray richness as being served breakfast in bed. Have you ever had it? It is so uncomfortable.

by Anonymousreply 35April 1, 2024 9:23 PM

Bette Davis is such a great and skilled actor, she makes us [bold]see[/bold] and [bold]believe[/bold] she is beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 36April 1, 2024 9:28 PM

[quote]she makes us see and believe she is beautiful.

Bette *always* gave complete credit to Perc, Orry and Maggie Donovan, r36.

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by Anonymousreply 37April 1, 2024 9:40 PM

Skaggy Maggy on the raggy

by Anonymousreply 38April 1, 2024 9:43 PM

Lux Radio Theatre production

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by Anonymousreply 39April 2, 2024 1:52 AM

With Marlene and Clark Gable.? That's interesting casting.

by Anonymousreply 40April 2, 2024 1:54 AM

“Scarlet O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were.”

So they cast Vivien Leigh who WAS beautiful.

Bette Davis was 36 when this movie was released. It’s hard for me to judge her looks because different era, different makeup but I think she’s attractive enough. The important part is her personality, and she definitely has the force of personality to carry this off.

I first saw this when I was a kid. The fact that Mr Skeffington was Jewish and the marriage was controversial went over my head.

by Anonymousreply 41April 2, 2024 10:07 AM

I'd much rather see Fanny played by Bette Davis than someone who was conventionally beautiful. Davis made a meal of the role.

by Anonymousreply 42April 2, 2024 12:05 PM

It’s been too many years to recall the details but I remember reading the book and being disappointed.

One of the very few times when the film was superior to the novel.

by Anonymousreply 43April 2, 2024 12:33 PM

Bette freely admitted she was no beauty and she was too old for the beginning of the movie. But the WB glam squad gave it their best shot. And Bette had a field day. I recall reading that WB wanted to borrow Hedy Lamarr, but that didn't happen, thank God.

by Anonymousreply 44April 2, 2024 12:49 PM

Fanny Skeffington

by Anonymousreply 45April 2, 2024 5:54 PM

Here's Carol Burnett's very funny spoof, "Mr. Shleppington."

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by Anonymousreply 46April 14, 2024 11:12 AM

ALERT: Mr. Skeffington comes on TCM at 2PM EDT.

by Anonymousreply 47April 14, 2024 12:07 PM

Like when Meryl played Sophie in SOPHIE’S CHOICE. Sophie was supposed to be beautiful like in the novel. Meryl is no great beauty but she makes you believe that she is.

by Anonymousreply 48April 14, 2024 12:08 PM

PS - I am curious about how diphtheria affects your appearance like it did to Fanny.

by Anonymousreply 49April 14, 2024 12:09 PM

Also, "Mr. Skeffington" is available on Tubi...

by Anonymousreply 50April 14, 2024 12:14 PM

If only there were an easily available way of finding out, r49.

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by Anonymousreply 51April 14, 2024 6:49 PM

Just finished watching this and boy if the story of Fanny Skeffington wasn't the story of 98% of every DLer I don't know what is. "I'm 87, but people always tell me I look like I'm in my late 20s".

by Anonymousreply 52April 14, 2024 10:35 PM

Bette made Fanny's vanity so sincere.

by Anonymousreply 53April 14, 2024 10:46 PM
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