Bette Davis and Joan Crawford by helitzur

Champion(s):

Kloefkorn


Runner(s)-Up:

BradburnA


Quiz Description

Inspired by the recent TV mini-series Feud: Bette And Joan, answer these questions about the careers of the two stars depicted in it. Many of them refer to the series, but all of them are answerable without having seen it.

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Questions:

In one episode of Feud, Hedda Hopper asks if "Joan Crawford, Miss Crystal Allen herself, is losing her nerve." This refers to Crawford's character in which 1939 movie with a star-studded ensemble cast? It was a major critical and commercial success that fueled her comeback from a down year in 1938, when she had been one of several major stars characterized as "box office poison."

Click to Reveal Answer
THE WOMEN

Bette Davis also had one of her signature roles in 1939 in this movie, as a free-spirited socialite who develops a fatal brain tumor. Her doctor and best friend deny her the full truth to try to allow her some happiness in her short time left to live, but when she discovers the reality of her condition, she still faces her fate with dignity. Name this enduringly popular tear-jerker that Davis often referred to as her personal favorite film of her career.

Click to Reveal Answer
DARK VICTORY

In Crawford's follow-up role to her career peak of Mildred Pierce, she played a wealthy patron of the arts who falls for a violin prodigy, played by John Garfield, in this 1946 drama. Feud includes an exchange where Davis dismisses Crawford's final scene in this film as too self-absorbed, although the movie garnered a high level of critical acclaim, including for Crawford's performance. Isaac Stern doubled for Garfield's violin-playing, and the film's title referenced an Antonin Dvorak composition, one of the numerous classical pieces Stern performed for the score.

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HUMORESQUE

Davis had spent most of her career at Warner Brothers before leaving the studio after this 1949 flop, which Feud refers to in a scene where she delights Victor Buono by re-enacting her line "what a dump!" That line--and her reading of it--gained considerable notoriety when Edward Albee built much of the opening scene of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? around it. If you can name this Davis movie, you'll have one up on Albee's characters, who are ultimately unable to remember its title.

Click to Reveal Answer
BEYOND THE FOREST

When Crawford's career-long employment at MGM ended in 1943, the studio had just turned her down for prestige roles in Madame Curie (as mentioned in Feud) and Random Harvest, two parts that were both ultimately played by which actress? A British import who had signed with MGM just a few years earlier, she became an immediate star in 1939 with her Hollywood debut in Goodbye Mr. Chips.

Click to Reveal Answer
Greer GARSON

As portrayed in Feud, Davis was appearing on Broadway a year before the filming of What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, in a Tennessee Williams production. Name this play, centered around an ex-minister and a group of women at a low-rent hotel in Mexico, which was adapted into a movie in 1964 with Ava Gardner playing the role originated on stage by Davis.

Click to Reveal Answer
THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA

The director of the film from question 1 of this quiz, he also directed Crawford in two of her next three movies, Susan And God and A Woman's Face. She credited him above all other directors with helping her grow as an actress, and remained friends with him for years afterward, as depicted in Feud where she turns to him for advice on multiple occasions. Though Crawford also laments in Feud that as Hollywood discards older actresses, male directors even older than them can still get top jobs, as this director did with his 1964 Oscar-winner My Fair Lady.

Click to Reveal Answer
George CUKOR

Davis had several of her biggest successes in a three-year time-span of working with this director on Jezebel (1938), The Letter (1940), and The Little Foxes (1941). After a passionate affair and subsequent on-set clashes, they never worked together again, but Davis said in later years that he was "the first great director I ever worked with" and even "the love of my life."

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William WYLER

All About Eve (1950) was the only Oscars Best Picture winner that Davis ever starred in, but what was Crawford's only Best Picture winner, from 1932? Co-starring John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, and Lionel Barrymore, it set the standard for the since frequently-repeated formula of combining plot-lines about the intersecting lives of multiple characters in a single location.

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GRAND HOTEL

Davis' first Oscar for Best Actress came in 1935 for Dangerous, but this was seen by many as a "make-up" award for the Academy's failure to nominate her for what 1934 movie that marked her breakthrough as a major star? Co-starring Leslie Howard, it was an adaptation of a novel by W. Somerset Maugham.

Click to Reveal Answer
OF HUMAN BONDAGE

In addition to the play from question 6, the movie version of another Tennessee Williams play also makes an appearance in Feud. The series depicts Crawford offering to accept the 1962 Best Actress Oscar for Geraldine Page, who was nominated that year for this movie, which co-starred Paul Newman. While Crawford ultimately got to upstage Davis by accepting the award on behalf of Anne Bancroft for The Miracle Worker, this Williams adaptation also got an Oscar that same night, with Ed Begley Sr. winning for Best Supporting Actor.

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SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH

Davis struggled through much of her early career at Warner Bros. against the studio repeatedly assigning her to movies with sub-par scripts, although one notable exception was this 1936 adaptation of a Robert Sherwood play. It jump-started the Hollywood career of Humphrey Bogart, who had played the same role on stage, an escaped convict whose gang holds everyone hostage at a remote diner in the American southwest.

Click to Reveal Answer
THE PETRIFIED FOREST