The Incomparable Bette Davisby tseybert | created - 02 Aug 2015 | updated - 9 hours ago | Public
Boy, do I love Bette Davis! I've seen Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? a bunch of times over the years, and there's quite a few of her movies that I've seen three to five times, like Jezebel, All About Eve and Petrified Forest. And then there's the 1930s newspaper thriller Front-Page Woman! Nobody seems to know about it, but I love it and I've seen it a bunch of times after I taped it off cable back in the 1990s!
I find her filmography to be very reliable. I always feel pretty confident when I see something listed on TCM and it has her name in the cast. They aren't all great classics, of course, and sometimes she doesn't have a very big part. But all but a handful of her movies are entertaining and worth watching, and it's amazing how many of them are classics of the Golden Age of Hollywood.
I decided to make a list of all the Bette Davis movies I've ever seen.
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1. The Bad Sister (1931)
Passed | 68 min | Drama
Marianne falls in love with a con artist who has a hidden agenda.
Bette's first movie. It's a fun little romp if you like early 1930s movies. Bette is not the bad sister. She's the good sister. And she's adorable. The cast includes Humphrey Bogart, ZaSu Pitts and Bert Roach.
3. Three on a Match (1932)
Passed | 63 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.
6. 20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1932)
Passed | 78 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Brash hoodlum Tom Connors enters Sing Sing cocksure of himself and disrespectful toward authority, but his tough but compassionate warden changes him.
7. The Cabin in the Cotton (1932)
TV-G | 78 min | Drama
A tenant farmer's son is caught in the middle of owner-tenant disputes when he falls for the plantation owner's seductive daughter.
8. The Rich Are Always with Us (1932)
TV-G | 71 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A socialite gets a divorce but can't keep out of her ex-husband's life.
Bette Davis makes the most of her small part in this comedy of ill manners.
9. Hell's House (1932)
Approved | 72 min | Drama
Jimmy idolizes bootlegger Matt, and when he refuses to implicate his friend, he is sent to reform school. He befriends Shorty, a boy with a heart condition, and escapes to let the world know about the brutal conditions.
11. Bureau of Missing Persons (1933)
Passed | 73 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Butch Saunders has been transferred to Missing Persons because he was too brutal in other police work. He regards the assignment as "kindergarten" work. When a young woman asks him to help ... See full summary »
13. Fog Over Frisco (1934)
Approved | 68 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
The lifestyles of Arlene and Valkyr Bradford, half-sisters from a respected San Francisco family, diverge markedly as Arlene takes up with criminals.
14. Housewife (1934)
Passed | 69 min | Drama
Nan Reynolds encourages her copywriter husband Bill to open his own agency. Nearly out of business, he finally gets a client. Former girlfriend Patricia Berkeley writes a very successful ... See full summary »
15. Jimmy the Gent (1934)
Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
An unpolished racketeer, whose racket is finding heirs for unclaimed fortunes, affects ethics and tea-drinking manners to win back the sweetheart who now works for his seemingly upright competitor.
16. Fashions of 1934 (1934)
78 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical
Sherwood Nash is a swindler who bootlegs Paris fashions for sale at cut-rate prices. His assistant Lynn poses as An American interested in a dress and Snap conceals a camera in his cane. ... See full summary »
17. Of Human Bondage (1934)
Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Romance
A young man finds himself attracted to a cold and unfeeling waitress who may ultimately destroy them both.
Bette Davis's Cockney accent is supposedly so bad that it makes many people hate this movie. I didn't even notice it. Maybe it's not authentic (it sounds fine to me) but she is simultaneously great and awful in this movie. And Frances Dee is adorable.
18. Front Page Woman (1935)
Passed | 82 min | Comedy, Romance
A woman reporter tries to prove she's just as good as any man, but runs into trouble along the way.
This is so great! My third favorite Bette Davis movie after Whatever Happened to Baby Jane! and Jezebel. (All About Eve is pretty good too.)
19. Dangerous (1935)
Approved | 79 min | Drama
An alcoholic actress who is considered a dangerous jinx is rehabilitated, but she then shows that she's as dangerous as ever.
I can see why she won the Oscar for Best Actress! And you get to see Bette Davis recite "Romeo and Juliet" before collapsing in a dive bar.
20. Special Agent (1935)
Approved | 76 min | Crime, Drama
Newspaperman Bill Bradford becomes a special agent for the tax service trying to end the career of racketeer Alexander Carston. Julie Gardner is Carston's bookkeeper. Bradford enters ... See full summary »
Bette Davis plays a mob accountant!
21. The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935)
Approved | 69 min | Drama
When his fiancée Valentine dumps him, prominent lawyer Geoffrey Sherwood goes on a bender and winds up married to a stranger, Miriam Brady. They decide to give their marriage a chance. ... See full summary »
22. The Golden Arrow (1936)
Approved | 68 min | Comedy, Family
It's the Florida party season for heiresses, with both Oklahoma oil heiress Hortense Burke-Meyers and New York face cream heiress Daisy Appleby in the state. And where the single American ... See full summary »
24. Satan Met a Lady (1936)
Approved | 74 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery
In this spoof of the story The Maltese Falcon (1941) is based on, a double-crossing woman, the two-timing P.I. she hired, the corpulent "empress of crime", and a gentleman thief are all after a legendary priceless eighth-century ram's horn.
25. It's Love I'm After (1937)
Approved | 90 min | Comedy
An actor of the stage finds himself pursued by a lovestruck fan while trying to patch up a tempestuous relationship with his actress lover.
26. Marked Woman (1937)
Approved | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
A crusading DA persuades a clip joint "party girl" to testify against her mobster boss after her innocent sister is accidentally murdered during one of his unsavory "parties".
30. Juarez (1939)
Approved | 125 min | Biography, Drama, History
Louis Napoleon III takes advantage of the American Civil War to circumvent the Monroe Doctrine and expand his power by helping Emperor Maximillian Hapsburg to add Mexico to his empire. of Mexico.
31. Dark Victory (1939)
Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance
A young socialite is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, and must decide whether or not she'll meet her final days with dignity.
32. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama, History
A depiction of the love/hate relationship between Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Devereux, the Earl of Essex.
34. The Letter (1940)
Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense, but a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.
35. All This, and Heaven Too (1940)
Approved | 141 min | Drama, Romance
A duchess' irrational behavior toward the governess of her children triggers tragic events that will change her family's lives forever.
36. The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)
Approved | 92 min | Comedy, Romance
A financially-strapped charter pilot hires himself to an oil tycoon to kidnap his madcap daughter and prevent her from marrying a vapid band leader.
40. In This Our Life (1942)
Approved | 97 min | Drama
The day before her wedding, a pampered young woman absconds with her sister's husband; in retaliation, her sister begins seeing the woman's former fiancé.
41. The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)
G | 112 min | Comedy, Romance
When acerbic critic Sheridan Whiteside slips on the front steps of a provincial Ohio businessman's home and breaks his hip, he and his entourage take over the house indefinitely.
42. Watch on the Rhine (1943)
Approved | 114 min | Drama
A German-born engineer, his American wife and their children travel from Mexico to the United States to visit her family but their plans are complicated by a Romanian count.
43. Old Acquaintance (1943)
Passed | 110 min | Drama, Romance
Old friends Kit Marlowe and Millie Drake adopt contrasting lifestyles: Kit is a single, critically acclaimed author while married Millie writes popular pulp novels.
44. Mr. Skeffington (1944)
Approved | 146 min | Drama, Romance
Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
45. The Corn Is Green (1945)
Not Rated | 115 min | Drama
A schoolteacher becomes the mentor of a talented young miner and seeks to get him into a university.
Bette Davis opens a school in the coal mining fields of rural Wales. if you just can't get enough of movies about Wales, then this might be the film for you, especially if you get excited by the idea of John Dall conjugating Latin verbs.
46. Deception (1946)
Approved | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A piano teacher believes that her fiancé was killed on the battlefield. When he miraculously returns, they decide to marry, but are threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer the piano teacher started dating on the rebound after she became convinced her love had died.
49. Winter Meeting (1948)
Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Romance