• Sun, Dec 9 2012

The Greatest Insults By Bette Davis On YouTube

Bette Davis
No woman’s website can continue for long to exist sanely without referencing classic Hollywood actresses; even larks and katydids are supposed, by some, to dream of Crawford and Swanson. The Gloss, not sane, stood by itself against its hills, holding darkness within; it had stood so for eighty years and might stand for eighty more. Within, walls continued upright, bricks met neatly, floors were firm, and doors were sensibly shut; silence lay steadily against the wood and stone of The Gloss, and whatever walked there, walked alone.

A nickel to the lucky reader who can quote me the next part of that (clumsily modified) opener without stooping to Google. The point is that for too long The Gloss has been silent on the matter of one Bette Davis and I can stand idly by no longer. Here, without further preamble, are some of the greatest on-screen insults uttered by Bette Davis of all time:

Of Human Bondage

Killer line: “And after you kissed me I always used to wipe my mouth! Wipe my mouth!”
Should you watch the movie? Yes. Not only is the “wipe my mouth” scene worth watching a thousand times over, Leslie Howard is excellent in it and John Hale, Sr. has a great part as a creepy German rake. If you’ve ever wondered what the Skipper (Hale Sr. being the spitting image of Hale Jr.) would look like with a mustache in a tuxedo, here’s your chance.

Beyond the Forest

Killer line: “What a dump!”
Should you watch the movie? Only if you feel so inclined. Better watch Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? instead, over and over, until you decide never to talk to anyone else ever again.

All About Eve

Killer line: All of them. All of them.
“Oh, thanks for the incredible find, Mallory. I’d never have stumbled across this gem were it not for your top-notch curation. Are there any national monuments you recommend in North Dakota?” Listen. It won’t do you any harm to watch All About Eve again, and some people still haven’t seen it.

Jezebel

Killer line: “Oh, I forgot – I’m a child. I’m not supposed to know about things like Gallatan Street. I’m just supposed to flutter about in white.”
Should you watch the movie? God, yes, even though Henry Fonda’s Southern accent is woefully inadequate.

Real life

Killer line: “Going to restaurants – they’ll shove people out, anything. Or if there’s two seats on a plane, and you’ve got to have them, you get ‘em.”
Should you watch the whole thing? Of course. Watch it for the massive diamond brooch. Watch for the cigarettes. Watch as she holds up the interview to freshen up her drink. Watch for the interruptions and the miniskirt and the tinted glasses and the glory that was Rome.

[Image via Wenn]

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  • Cate

    I love her, I do. When I grow up I want to be Bette Davis.

  • mallelis

    Well, apparently Mount Rushmore is in SOUTH Dakota. There go my credentials as a journalist.