9 March 2008 | phd12166
Good Mix of Film Clips, Archived Self-Talks & Commentaries by Peers
For me, it's difficult to pick who was the greatest actor of the 20th century: Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck? Each had to work harder than men actors to get roles portraying strong women characters; each played so many diverse lead characters they they couldn't be stereotyped into a typical role; each had sensational acting ability; each couldn't be cast as simpleton sexual objects for men to exploit; each was utterly devoted to her acting career for their entire lifetime; each didn't receive nearly enough official recognition by being awarded for outstanding leading and supporting characters; each stoled the shows from great leading actors in nearly every scene they played; each was not what would be called a 'raving beauty', and yet, on film, their spirits brought the beauty forth from within themselves in such a fashion to become gorgeous; each allowed themselves to be cast in highly controversial roles well before the social issues were talked of in their time. Having said all of that, I cast my vote for Bette Davis as the greatest actor of the 20th century.
This biographical documentary of Bette Davis' work and life is revealed quite expertly well through a well balanced mixture of actual film clips from some of Davis' great silver screen performances, television talk-shows when she reveals key intimate details about her life, values, beliefs, and sensibility.
The film biographers of "Stardust..." do a remarkably fine job of selecting clips of Davis' peer commentators who were knew Davis as their friend, mother, acting mentor, neighbor, and a kids-turned-actors who grew up either on stage with Davis or in her home.
This is one of the most well balanced film biographies of an actor that I have viewed (repeatedly). There are historic clips not available (at this time) to the public, included in "Stardust...." This, for a Davis collector, it is a must own, especially in DVD format.