Collector’s Corner: Collecting Bette

For this week’s Collector’s Corner, it’s another edition of Star Collections! This time around, we’re taking a look at another one of my top five favorite actresses, the incomparable Bette Davis.

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(Image via IAV)

Bette Books & Mags

Most of my book collection is made up of happy accidents. Occasionally I hunt down specific titles recommended by fellow classic films buffs, but mostly I just see what I come across at book sales/used book shops/antique shops, and pick up what I find if it’s fairly priced. I’ve had pretty good luck with Bette books. The list:

  • Bette Davis by Alexander Walker
  • Bette: The Life of Bette Davis by Charles Higham
  • The Films of Bette Davis by Gene Ringgold
  • The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis, A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler
  • “I’d Love to Kiss You…”: Conversations with Bette Davis by Whitney Stine
  • Mother Goddam by Whitney Stine, with a running commentary by Bette Davis

Also, though the book isn’t focused on Bette, she appears (along with many other stars) on the cover of my copy of Majestic Hollywood by Mark A. Vieira!

The Whitney Stine books are two of my all-time favorite classic film books. Highly recommended, if you haven’t read them. Bette’s commentary throughout Mother Goddam is fascinating to read. Every time I watch a new-to-me Bette film, I immediately consult both of these books to get Bette’s behind-the-scenes take!

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Bette with Whitney Stine, snapped from my 1991 paperback edition of “I’d Love to Kiss You…”

Owned Bette Films

  • All About Eve (1950)
  • Dark Victory (1939)
  • Hell’s House (1932)
  • The Letter (1940)
  • Mr. Skeffington (1944)
  • Now, Voyager (1942)
  • The Petrified Forest (1936)
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

All of these films except Now, Voyager are individual DVDs. Now, Voyager appears in the TCM Greatest Classic Romances 4-pack.

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Leslie Howard, Bette Davis and their director Archie Mayo on set of It’s Love I’m After. (Image via doctormacro.com)

Most-Wanted: Bette films on my DVD wishlist!

  • 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1933)
  • All This, and Heaven Too (1940)
  • Cabin in the Cotton (1932)
  • Dead Ringer (1964)
  • Fog Over Frisco (1934)
  • It’s Love I’m After (1937)
  • Old Acquaintance (1943)
  • Watch on the Rhine (1943)

In addition to these films (and Bette’s entire filmography, really!), another (non-DVD) item topping my current must-buy list is Kate Gabrielle’s fabulous Bette t-shirt! Kate spoils us Bette fans, also offering a Bette pocket mirror, enamel pin, and art prints (among other classic film merchandise).

That’s it for this edition of Collector’s Corner! If you’re as big a Bette fan as I am, feel free to share your own treasures in the comments!

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3 thoughts on “Collector’s Corner: Collecting Bette

  1. Fasten Your Seatbelts: The Passionate Life of Bette Davis (by Lawrence J. Quirk) is great. If you want to learn everything about the making of her movies, this is the book to buy. For a more intimate portrait, I’ll recommend Miss D & Me (by Davis’s assistant Kathryn Sermak) — it’s a must-have! I also love the two books written by Whitney Stine. Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud (by Shaun Considine) is the funniest book, though. :)

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