- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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It's about Bette
- Maria Ramos
I agree with Kevin. I watched and rewound, watched again. Was it the plot? Solving the Mystery? No, it was about how many minutes was Bette Davis on Screen. I replayed the movie twice (DVR) and what was most important was Ms. Davis' time on film. I did attempt to watch the ending to find out who killed Davis' character, but in the end I didn't care. Once Bette's character was killed off after about 30 minutes, I no longer cared about the ending. She is truly a master.
fog over frisco
- kevin sellers
In general, if you're trying to make a film that will keep an audience interested for let's say an hour and fifteen minutes then it's a good idea NOT TO KILL OFF YOUR BEST CHARACTER LESS THAN FORTY FREAKIN MINUTES IN!!!Excuse the outburst. Feel better now. I'm referring of course to Bette Davis' Arlene, the bad seed/gunmoll/socialite who is the only reason to stick with this rather standard newspaper/gangster pic. As to why director William Dieterle and screenwriters Robert N. (what happened to the E?) Lee and Eugene Solow chose to sabotage their film I can only guess. Perhaps Davis was acting like a diva and the studio retaliated by axing her. Or maybe Dieterle and writers were too dim to realize how good Davis was and thus made the fatal miscalculation that audiences wouldn't mind her early demise but would instead swoon over Lyle Talbot and Margaret Lindsay. For whatever reason, as soon as you see Davis' dead body in the car trunk the movie loses its life as well. Give it a C minus.
Already Playing the Lead
Bette Davis plays the protagonist, ArleneBradford, a high society jet setter who'sbeen staying out of the public since becoming engaged. Margaret Lindsay plays her stepsister, Val Bradford, who's extremely loyal to her stepsister. Littledoes Val know that Arlene's caught up in an illegal bond selling scheme. Their father condemns Arlene and her fiance' fears they'll both be caught with the bonds. Single minded about it all, Arlene skips off without saying where she's going. Val's frantic to find her. Reporters do but keep Arlene's whereabouts to themselves in order to have the scoop on the breaking story that's bound to cause a sensation. There are several fascinating aspects of this film. Bette Davis' leading performance is one of them. The cinematography of San Francisco in the 1930's is spectacular. Margaret Lindsay and Bette Davis pair up several times in more films and become an excellent acting team.
Great views of Frisco in the thirties.
I only caught the last 30 minutes or so and, unfortunately, Ms. Davis' character had already been murdered. What I particularly enjoyed, however, was the location shots around the city. The use of all modes of transit including seaplanes, motor vehicles of all sorts, cable cars, trains, and several different watercraft. Seeing familiar street corners and buildings in SFO and enjoying the cityscape during the final chase scenes was a delight for this one time resident and frequent visitor of that fair city. I hope TCM runs it again soon so that I may see it from the opening credits.
Definitely Worth Watching
I know this early Bette Davis film is very hard to locate and/or buy. There's only a week to wait to see it on TCM. Davis stars as a wealthy woman, Arlene Bradford, who's gotten herself into some sort of money laundering scheme with unsavory types. Her sister's frantic over it and goes out of her way to put a stop to it. Her man isn't happy about being involved either. Then, it doesn't end up good for her! This is a terrific title for the film because it's very noirish, and the image of fog sets up the darkness of the film. Bette's performance is a stunner for an early one.
Bette Davis Stars in a Gangster Schemer
The schemes in this film are quite complex. Bette Davis as Arlene Bradford, a socialite, is laundering stolen bonds for gangsters. Why isn't clear to me. Before this film is over it's going to feel like one's been through a deep and seedy spiral of winding turns that don't turn out how one would prefer. If this is one of those so called, 'non-starters'that the Warners had Davis doing early in her acting career, it's surely one of the better ones. If I could find it to buy I'd own it.
Fun Bette Davis Film
Thanks TCM for programming an early Bette Davis film that's not often broadcast (if ever), and very hard to find elsewhere. Looking forward to seeing it again!
A Fog of Gangsters
Arlene Bradford (Bette Davis) is caught up in a gangster's bond laundering scheme. When she tries to leave, she turns up dead. That's the thumbnail sketch of this hour short film. Like the older films used to they pack their punches in very brief periods of time. This film is quite an intrigue, gangster film and murder mystery all-in-one. Bette Davis portrays Arlene the way we come to expect of her, as a spitfire. It's a delight to watch her this early in her film acting career. Amazing she's already developed quite a few of her classic acting techniques. Hope that TCM with broadcast this film and advertise it before it does.