The Critical Davis
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Published in: July-August 2009 issue.


Bette DavisBette Davis: The Performances That Made Her Great

by Peter McNally
McFarland & Co. 253 pages, $35.


IN LIGHT OF the myriad books about Bette Davis that are out there, one might question the need for another look at the grande dame of the big screen and her body of work. But author Peter McNally would rightly disagree, having written an exhaustive and even original book about the legendary actress’s most memorable turns. McNally’s method is to cull various critical responses to a given movie and then mesh them with his own analysis. In addition to the most famous films—All About Eve, The Letter, Little Foxes, Jezebel, and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?—McNally covers the other important movies at length and some of the lesser works as well.

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