Biography (1987– )
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Bette Davis: If Looks Could Kill 

Share the magical memories - and see clips from her Oscar winning performances - in this profile of the "First Lady of the American screen."


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Episode credited cast:
Peter Graves ... Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Eddie Acuff ... (archive footage)
Anne Baxter ... (archive footage)
Humphrey Bogart ... (archive footage)
Joe E. Brown ... Himself (archive footage)
Jack Carson ... Himself (archive footage)
Dick Cavett ... Himself (archive footage)
Eduardo Ciannelli ... (archive footage)
Joseph Cotten ... (archive footage)
Joan Crawford ... (archive footage)
Barbara Davis Barbara Davis ... Herself - Davis's Sister (archive footage)
Bette Davis ... Herself (archive footage)
Ruthie Davis Ruthie Davis ... Herself - Davis's Mother (archive footage)
Olivia de Havilland ... (archive footage)
Charles Farrell ... (archive footage)


Share the magical memories - and see clips from her Oscar winning performances - in this profile of the "First Lady of the American screen."

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Release Date:

13 September 1994 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs




Color (Technicolor)| Black and White
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Did You Know?


The closing credits to this episode says the narrator is Harry Smith though the actual narrator's voice is that of Peter Graves. See more »

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User Reviews

Superb BioPic of and with Bette Davis: First Lady of Cinema
16 June 2008 | by semioticzSee all my reviews

With a superbly blended mixture of actual footage of Miss Bette Davis speaking about herself and her life-long career in acting, friends, family, co-actors, footage from choice films, as well as footage from television interviews, this biopic by A&E's "Biography" is worthy of Cinema's First Lady.

The humorous aspects of Bette Davis' personality, on and off sets, are priceless featured moments of one of the most serious actors in screen acting's history. Unlike the spoiled "stars," who went to work acting in order to gain fame and fortune, who stomped off sets in fits of temper or while having childish tantrums, it is refreshing to learn from this biopic that Miss Davis could leave people with whom she worked and friends she knew well alike rolling on the floor laughing. When she goofed on the set, instead of bickering, instead of being an ego-maniacal shrew, Davis came up with hilarious one liners when she missed hers, like, "I've just given birth in the ladies room," (in response to her co-character's line, "What's so serious?"--the film crew can be heard cracking up in the background, while Davis herself is grinning ear to ear). That's one of my favorite aspects of Bette Davis' whole personality: how she could so easily deploy humor to ease others--even during the worst years of WWII.

To learn how bold & brave a 25yo woman was to stand up to Warner Brothers in pursuit of nothing more than good scripts reveals so much about Bette Davis' life dream. Davis doesn't leave her dream to our imagination. She tells Dick Cavett in 1971 that she was determined to be the best actress or quit. To imagine that a five foot two, eyes of turquoise blue woman could take on heavy socially controversial topics through the delivery of some of the finest scripts is daunting. Tiny as she was her shadow is towering today.

The only comparable biopic about US Cinema's First Lady is "All About Bette," brilliantly narrated by Jodie Foster: it's a bit more intimate and concise.

Don't stop here with this biopic: view them all in order to develop the fullest bodied vision of one heck of a woman. There's much more to her life than what meets the eye through her 100+ corpus of fabulous films. Indeed, Davis' contributions to humanity are yet to be sung.

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