Hot on the heels of Ryan Murphy’s “Feud,” a no-holds-barred account of the contemptuous, combative relationship between two of Hollywood’s most talented fading stars, we dive head first into one of cinema’s greatest rivalries. We begin the series by highlighting the early, critically-acclaimed work of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford with two of their defining performances in NOW, VOYAGER and MILDRED PIERCE. Next up is an unmissable double feature pitting the two against each other in a pair of unhinged psycho biddy (or Hagsploitation) films with the Southern Gothic yarn HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE and director William Castle’s Robert Bloch-penned (PSYCHO) STRAIT-JACKET. Finally, for our main event, Bette Davis (5’3” weighing in at 127 lbs hailing from Lowell, MA) goes toe-to-toe with her long-time adversary and peer on the boulevard of broken dreams, Joan Crawford (5’5” weighing in at 110lbs, hailing from beautiful San Antonio, TX), in director Robert Aldrich’s genre-making masterpiece, WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?
Wed, May 31, 6:30-8:30pm
Presented by Bonnie Dow, professor and chair of communication studies and professor of women’s and gender studies at Vanderbilt University, and Claire Sisco King, associate professor in communication studies and cinema and media arts at Vanderbilt University.
Sat-Sun, Jun 3-4 at 1:00pm
A mother's love can lead to murder! Joan Crawford delivers an Academy Award-winning performance as a woman clawing her way to success to provide her daughter with everything she lacks. Directed by Michael Curtiz (CASABLANCA).
Sat-Sun, Jun 10-11
Young Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) leads a deeply repressed life, suffering under a domineering mother, until psychiatrist Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains) encourages her to emerge from her cocoon. On a transatlantic voyage, Vale falls in love with Jerry Durrence (Paul Henreid). Rather than break up his marriage, Vale becomes a surrogate mother to his emotionally disturbed daughter.
Sat-Sun, Jun 17-18
Mad women wielding axes...that’s what’s at stake in this duo of mid-60s horror shows. Up first, Robert Aldrich's Southern Gothic thriller with Bette Davis as a mildewed magnolia whose past may include the murder of her long-ago suitor (Bruce Dern!). Up next, Joan Crawford is released from an asylum in William Castle’s schlocky B-thriller, and the bodies are stacking up again...
Sat-Sun, Jun 24-25
Aging child star “Baby Jane” Hudson (Bette Davis) holds her paraplegic sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) captive in an old Hollywood mansion. Davis and Crawford generate high-voltage horror in Robert Aldrich’s masterpiece of the macabre.