Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Bette Davis Interview

TCM are showing the Bette Davis movie Pocketful of Miracles overnight at 1:30 AM ET. It's a remake of Lady For a Day, and it's not quite as good. (As always, though, judge for yourself.)

More interesting, however, is what follows on TCM at 4:00 AM. It's an interview Bette Davis did on the Dick Cavett show back in 1971. It's after Davis made all of her big movies, and she has a lot to talk about. She's quite an engaging storyteller, and at one point brings the house down by saying she should tell the story of her first sexual experience.

It helps that Dick Cavett was a pretty good interviewer, too. He's the last of his generation still alive; the other great interviewers of the era such as Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin have already passed away. This is also a pretty good sort of program for TCM to have. It fits in well with Robert Osborne's Private Screenings interviews, which get irregular repeats on TCM. However, Cavett was doing his interviews when there were more old stars still alive to be interviewed. If you don't pay attention, it can be shocking to see just how many stars die in any given year.

Such specials, while not actually movies, are, I think, a good way to try to introduce new people to TCM, and to classic movies in general.

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