USA, Vincent Sherman (1943)
Melodramatic women’s picture (classic Hollywood speak for “chick flick”) in which literary sensation Bette Davis sacrifices true love for the sake of her life-long friendship with shallow, self-centered hack author Miriam Hopkins. Neither a stand-out in this genre nor as a Bette Davis picture, it does earn points for Bette, who looks smashing striding around, posing with her hand on one hip, and smoking circles around everyone else on the set. (No one could puff on a cigarette like Bette!) And half-way through the picture, as she ages, Bette appears with a terrific Bonnie Raitt-esque streak in her hair.
Hollywood legend has it that Bette and Miriam loathed each other and it’s almost worth watching Old Acquaintance just to see Bette throttle Miriam Hopkins, literally, by her pearl-encrusted neck. [***]