Kona | Emerald City | 02/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis) is a dowdy spinster who has been driven to a nervous breakdown by her tyrannical mother. She enters a sanitarium and emerges an attractive and confident woman, ready to experience life on her own terms. On a cruise, she meets Jerry (Paul Henried), a married man; he's charming and romantic and they fall in love.
This is a great movie. Charlotte's physical and emotional transformation and her Grand Passion are the stuff that make many female hearts race, including mine. Davis gives a powerful, intelligent performance and was justly nominated for an Oscar. Leading men didn't come any smoother than Henried and he pulls off the now-silly double-cigarette act with absolute aplomb, making his flawed character seem almost heroic. Max Steiner's heart-tugging score won an Academy Award.
The movie is pure escapist delight with beautiful people, gorgeous clothes, exotic locations, and, of course, Love. A true classic romance that makes me swoon. Highly recommended."
Excellent Davis but nothing package
Douglas M | 02/04/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It is surprising that this famous film, one of the best in the legacy of the great Bette Davis, has been issued on DVD in such a basic package. All the superlatives apply to Davis as the repressed Boston spinster, Paul Henried as her lover, Gladys Cooper as her autocratic mother and Claude Rains as her psychiatrist. The film is a superb Warner's production. Davis was vigilant on the set, directing the traffic with director Irving Rapper and ensuring that it was quality all the way. A minor criticism is that the transitions are often clumsy and sudden, causing a jarring shift in moods.
While the print of the film presented here is perfect, it is disappointing that the only extra is the original trailer. Surely an expert commentary was warranted, particularly when they were made available on many lesser Davis vehicles. At least the DVD can be purchased sometimes at a bargain price."