- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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The Love & Willing Suffering of Bette Davis
This post-humous tribute to director William Wyler brought out some of the biggest names from Hollywood's Golden Era. Billy Wilder, Lillian Hellman and Bette Davis are only 3 of them and their comments would have been enough. Imagine what this documentary is like with the rest of the cast and the amazing clips of films Wyler directed. It's wonderful. What is even more amazing than the show itself is the fact that Bette Davis, who loved William Wyler for most of her life made a determined and important appearance as part of this cast. She had already finished making her farewell film, knew she was dying of cancer, was disabled from stroke after-effects that she miraculously overcame well enough to keep working at a very high level and was doing all of this while she was in a great deal of pain. What and who she loved were worth suffering for willingly. That was the heart of Bette Davis.
Who's Who of Colleagues Honor Wm. Wyler
Made a year before his one time, long term lover, and most successful leading actor, Bette Davis, died, and including director William Wyler's most esteemed colleagues, like playwright, Lillian Hellman and actor Gregory Peck, this tribute is paid to Wyler's memory since he died 7 years before it was made. Scrutiny over time of the wide variety of films Wyler directed has shown he became one of the great director of major classic films. The film clips and interviews are all well worth watching and owning. It's amazing to think that the director who lead Bette Davis to an Oscar for "Jezebel," also lead Barbra Streisand to an Oscar for "Funny Girl." Wyler's directorial career links the Golden Era of classics with the modern era of classic films.
Fitting Tribute to a Director of Classics
William Wyler was responsible for directing some of the best classic films of Hollywood's 'Golden Era'. He was known as an actor's director, but was no push over. Wyler and Bette Davis had a romantic relationship in the 1930's. He was Bette Davis' favorite director. But they had some serious disagreements. One was over the ending of the classic Oscar winner, "The Letter." Nevertheless, the ending was done as Wyler decided it would be filmed. This tribute is loaded with Hollywood's cream of the crop because that's the type of actors who were drawn to perform under Wyler's direction. The film is a biography of Wyler's work and public life that's extremely well done.
William Wyler gets the royal treatment from many of Hollywood's royalty. Among those at the very top of the list is Miss Bette Davis just before she passed away. Wyler directed at least three of her greatest classics and they had such a mutual regard for each other. The interviewees are very knowledgable about Wyler's work. This show should be available to the public now.
Look at this Biography's Cast!
Since the cast is listed on the filmography, I'm not going to relist all of the great directors, writers and actors here. What I want to point out is that among those listed are some of the greatest professionals in their fields. It is the final interview of William Wyler, 3 days before he died. Thank goodness this film was made on time. It is a terrific one that includes choice film clips from the amazing films Wyler directed.
Rare Bette Davis 1988 Appearance
Since Bette Davis died in 1989, her appearance in this film about her favorite director & young love interest, 1988, is significant. Miss Davis did not stop making films or televised appearances throughout the time she was struggling to live with terminal cancer. Typical of Miss Davis, she braved the public's criticism and unkind remarks, if not ageist and ableist verbal attacks. It was just like her not to give a hoot about being filmed looking younger or more well than she actually was. Her interveiw on February 24th, 1988 with Larry King could be her last.
Available on DVD
This documentary is on DVD packaged with William Wyler's part-talkie The Love Trap.