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Stardust: The Bette Davis Story (2006)

Combining unprecedented access to Davis' vast personal archives with original interviews, this documentary reveals a startling portrait of one of hollywood's most gifted and enigmatic stars.

Directors:

Peter Jones, Mark A. Catalena (co-director) (as Mark Catalena)

Writer:

Peter Jones
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Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Sarandon ... Narrator (voice)
Bette Davis ... Herself (archive footage)
Ruthie Davis Ruthie Davis ... Herself (archive footage)
Michael Merrill Michael Merrill ... Himself
James Woods ... Himself
Marion Sherry Marion Sherry ... Herself
Vincent Sherman ... Himself
Cecil Clovelly Cecil Clovelly ... Himself (archive footage)
Conrad Nagel ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Casey Robinson Casey Robinson ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
George Arliss ... Himself as Montgomery Royle (archive footage)
Leo Rosten Leo Rosten ... Himself (voice) (archive footage)
Jack L. Warner ... Himself (archive footage)
Ellen Burstyn ... Herself
Jane Fonda ... Herself
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Storyline

A standard biography of the famed actress recounting her childhood, early films and her rise to stardom. Her father abandoned the family when she was quite young and she remained close to her domineering mother. As she became more popular she had many fights with Jack Warner, the head of Warner Brothers studio, but eventually managed to exert greater control over her career. She was nominated for several Oscars. Her private life life included several failed marriages and she was deeply hurt when her daughter, who was her closest companion for several years, wrote a tell-all and unflattering memoir of her life. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-14
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Bette Davis-Story See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

This documentary claimed that Bette Davis received her eighth Oscar nomination for her film The Star, but she actually received her ninth nomination for that film. Davis garnered her eighth nod two years earlier for the film All About Eve. See more »

Connections

Features Deception (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Star Dust
Music by Hoagy Carmichael
Lyrics by Mitchell Parish
Performed by Nat 'King' Cole
See more »

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User Reviews

Breezy Bette Bio
21 June 2013 | by PrometheusTree64See all my reviews

Narrated by Susan Sarandon -- presumably because she's a bit of a Davis lookalike (but a much better voice-over than Anjelica Huston's on the Joan Crawford doc), STARDUST presents a nice, kinda fun, warts-and-all portrait of screen icon Bette Davis.

No, few of her peers are still around, so the program has to rely on latter day film actors to provide commentary and opinion, but that doesn't seem to hurt it.

The film seems to fairly skewer Davis for her well-documented pathologies, yet defends her from undue slurs (rightly dismissing her daughter's petty 1985 tome, "My Mother's Keeper", nowhere NEAR as intelligent or as responsible a book as "Mommie Dearest").

The fresh, sort of melancholy, nostalgic tone keeps the viewers' interest throughout, although there's a relative lack of detail (and it tends to short sheet her post-Warners' career) but that would likely have taken a much longer show. Still, another 20 minutes might have been nice, so that Bette's life after 1949 weren't so truncated.

Still, quite watchable, and better than most such efforts on the Great La Bette.


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