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VINE VOICEon 26 July 2008
This set contains six movies, where the previous volumes had only five or four. Even so far into Bette Davis' work, there are still rich pickings and real gems to be found:-

Old Maid (1939) - Bette's first pairing with real life enemy Miriam Hopkins. Their mutual dislike brought fire and energy to their performances. Some of those scenes really spark.

All This And Heaven Too (1940) - This is Bette being good. A period tale of unrequited love. I wish she had done more films with Charles Boyer.

In This Our Life (1942) - This is Bette being bad. She wreaks havoc in the lives of those around her. Lifetime friend Olivia de Havilland plays her good sister.

The Great Lie (1941) - Mary Astor graciously gave much credit to Bette when she won her supporting role Oscar. They all drink so many juleps, I don't know how any of them could stand up!

Deception (1946) - Bette's juggernaut was running out of steam by 1946. This is highly watchable, but not as good as most of her early 40s movies.

Watch On The Rhine (1943) - Not really a Bette Davis vehicle, more of a wartime propoganda jobbie that studies American attitudes during the early years of the war in Europe. Bette takes a good part, but does not seem to get much screen time.

All in all a very good set of movies from a Hollywood legend. Nobody else could be this good by Volume 3.
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The 100th Birthday Box Set is a wonderful collection of perfectly re-mastered disks with a wealth of excellent extras. The selection shows Ms Davis in her many moods - comic - tragic - and just plain wicked - and provides a highly enjoyable and entertaining experience. The scripts are great - the direction impressive and the music scores lush and memorable. Miss D. is admirably supported by such greats as Miriam Hopkins, Mary Astor and her much-loved co-star of many of her movies, George Brent. You even get newsreels from all the year's featured as well as shorts from the period, and rare cartoons too. So fasten your seat-belt - for those of you who like this kind of thing - you are in for a for some truly memorable nights at the movies!
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on 20 February 2010
Everything one expects from Bette Davies is here. The magnetic eyes and expressions, beautifull diction, and the ability to play angelic characters just as convincingly as evil ones. What makes this Set even more enjoyable are the Special Features.Each film can be viewed as a Warner Bros Hollywood Night at the Movies,with a News Reel of the time, a short feature film,a Cartoon, and advertising Trailers-played continuously as in the days before cinemas showed only the main feature.One interesting clip shows Bette recieving an award with Mickey Rooney for most popular actor and actress of 1940.She is well complemented with performances from Mary Astor, Olivia DeHaviland,Claude Rains, George Brent,Paul Henreid,Charles Boyer, Barbara O'neil, and Paul Lukas.This is a dramatic and breathtaking six box set.
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VINE VOICEon 27 March 2008
This is nominally the third collection of Bette Davis movies, and contains six films, where the previous two contained only five.

Each DVD comes with extras broadly titled 'Warner Night at the Movies', made up of shorts, newsreels and cartoons contemporary to the films. Some have a commentary, most have an original trailer. There are no new featurettes.

In This Our Life - A surprise flop (or was it? see comments) from 1942/3. Bette never wanted to play it as she felt she was too old for the role. It plays well accross the decades 'though. This is Bette being bad!

The Old Maid - Bette's first pairing with real life enemy Miriam Hopkins. It is said that their mutual dislike brought out the best in both their performances. Some of those scenes really spark with energy.

All This And Heaven Too - One of my favorites. Historical drama of unrequited love. Look out for the mother from TV's 'Lost In Space' June Lockhart playing the eldest (French) girl in her care.

The Great Lie - They all drink so many juleps, it is a wonder any of them can stand up! Mary Astor picked up a supporting role Oscar. In her acceptance speech, she graciously gave much credit to Bette.

Watch On The Rhine - Not a Bette Davis vehicle, it is more an anti Nazi propoganda film. The Mother played by our own Lucille Watson seems to have more screen time than Bette. All credit to Bette that she was prepared to take a less than full starring role in aid of the war effort.

Deception - Bette's juggernaut was running out of steam by 1946. Highly watchable, but not as good as most of her early '40s movies.

I suppose we have to wait until June, but it will be a long impatient wait for me!
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on 14 June 2009
Pure magic - for fans of Bette Davis and for modern film buffs wanting to become more familiar with 'classic' performances. Perhaps she really was the greatest actress who ever lived. She really does have an astonishing corpus of work, and this set is evidence of that. Try looking at any scene she is in without watching her. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to take your eyes off her. Katharine Hepburn comes close in the acting stakes, but Bette wins by a look, a shrug and a cigarette.
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A collection of six digitally remastered DVDs, 'The Best of Bette Davis', and marking the anniversary of her 100th birthday. This collection marks the first release of the movies in DVD format.

The Old Maid (1939), All This and Heaven Too (1940), The Great Lie (1941), In This Our Life (1942), Watch On The Rhine (1943), Deception (1946).

All films were released by Warner Bros and each case has a copy of the original movie poster inside the front cover.

Total running time is approx:- 637 minutes.

PG is recommended for children under 12 due to some of the more adult themes.

Additional features:- Expert Commentaries, Warner Night at the Movies - select music, sports, Patriotic shorts, Cartoons, Newreels and Trailers from the films' release year.

The collection is cleverly, thoughtfully, put together to highlight the many faces of Better Davis. She's portraying women as diverse as a single mother (The Old Maid) through to dastardly 'home wrecker' (In This Our Life) and the wife of a German Underground leader (Watch on the Rhine). A decent mix though I'd challenge the distributors to prove they're her 'Best Films'. I'd like to know how they categorise that.

I watch the DVDs on a large, flat screen TV and though there are some issues in terms of quality it's nothing more than you'd expect and certainly no worse than you'd experience if you were watching a repeat of the film on TV. Audio quality if good enough and, personally, this is just TV heaven for me. I'm a fan of Bette Davis and have been for many years. Can't recommend this box set highly enough.
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My mum has been a Bette Davis fan since well before I was born. The trouble was that dad wasn't and there was always a slight altercation if her films were on the telly and although mum always got her way it kind of spoiled the film for her. Don't get me wrong I had a great dad and him and mum were very close but the TV was his domain.

My mum is now 83 and dad is regrettably gone but Bette Davis is eternal so I bought this for her birthday. Her eyes lit up when she opened the parcel and proceeded to binge watch the whole box set in a couple of days.

I can't critique the films because I'm not a film buff so I dare say the 'review police' could criticise this review but my old mum thought they were great and that's good enough for me.
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on 4 October 2011
Although the majority of the discs were acceptable except for one or two slight glitches, the disc entitled "In this our life" was appalling. 20 minutes into the film the soundtrack disappeared altogether but i could hea voices not part of the film, which indicates an old disc re-used. Also, needing subtitles for hearing difficulties, only half sentences appear nonof which make sense in that context. I am seriously disappointed in this collection and will be asking for a refund.
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on 6 April 2010
a very good selection of classic movies and bette is exceptionly wonderful in the parts she takes and note with the music scores of two of the greatest, Max Steiner and Erick Korngold, you wont find better and for the price money well spent buy it and keep it for always I highly recommend if you are a bette davis fan you will enjoy this box set for time and time again.
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on 23 January 2011
I bought these for my mum and I to watch together. I don't think any movies nowadays have the same magic as the old Black and White films and Bette Davis is a legend. All her roles are believable and we have spent many a happy hour just watching these films. A personal favourite is All This & Heaven Too but to each their own. Well worth a buy.
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