In Honor of Bette Davis’s Birthday, Small Pleasures of Now, Voyager

Beyond the singular pleasure that comes from watching a pitch perfect, classic Hollywood melodrama or the preternatural pleasure that is all but inevitable when witnessing Bette Davis’s deeply moving turn as Charlotte Vale, there are plenty of smaller pleasures to be gleaned from Now, Voyager.  Pleasures like Bette Davis wearing the most fabulous movie hat to end all movie hats:

Seriously, Bette Davis’s hat gives all other movie hats hat envy. Particularly Kate Winslet’s hat from the beginning of Titanic.  It’s a movies-with-narratives-that-prominently-feature-cruise-ships thing.

And here’s Bette Davis knitting while wearing the sort of sunglasses that make me long for a time when sunglass–and the rest of the world–stood for things that really mattered.  Namely glamour:

Some people might say that it’s those sunglasses cover up those Bette Davis eyes. Everyone will say I should get off the stage for writing such an embarrassing pun.

Oh!  And I’d be remiss to not mention the greatest Now, Voyager gift of all:

Spinster Bette Davis.  And more importantly, ENHANCE:

Spinster Bette Davis’s fright brows.  See, in Olive Higgins Prouty’s novel, Charlotte Vale is a dowdy, overweight depressive; however, in the film adaptation, Charlotte Vale just looks like a Bette Davis frumped-up and wearing the most dazzling costume eyebrows you and I will ever see.  It’s more camp than convincing, but that’s precisely what makes it the sweetest note in the sublime symphony that is Bette Davis’s Charlotte Vale.

So Bette Davis, we love you.  Happy birthday.

One Response

  1. I screened this a couple of weeks ago in class. I love this film and your entry is sublime. Glamour indeed.


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