By Ed Sikov
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Additional resources for Dark Victory: The Life of Bette Davis
She cackles as Leslie stoops to select it up, all to the wealthy leisure of the whores within the bamboo cage. on the finish of Limur’s movie, Leslie asks Robert to ship her away, yet he refuses, asserting that her punishment is to stick with him in an international she detests. In April 1938, while Warner Bros. first considered procuring the movie rights from Paramount, the studio requested Hollywood’s leader censor, Joseph Breen, for his response ahead of slicing the deal. days later, Breen rejected the valuables in its entirety. finally, Maugham’s play in addition to Limur’s movie contained “adultery with no compensating ethical values,” let alone miscegenation and an unpunished homicide caused by means of a perversion of justice. 1 really, those have been effortless difficulties to unravel. Turning the chinese language mistress right into a Eurasian spouse may reduce the miscegenation, let alone casting off the illicit nature of the connection, and punishing Leslie in a few definitive demeanour or different could clear up the creation Code’s leader crisis via demonstrating to any viewers participants contemplating killing their enthusiasts in a healthy of enraged jealousy and unfulfilled lust that one of these crime wouldn't eventually pay. on the finish of 1939, Edmund Goulding was once in brief thought of to direct The Letter, yet Warners discovered his principles “a trifle radical. ”2 Bette used to be introduced because the film’s megastar in January. (According to her grandson and biographer, Sheridan Morley, Gladys Cooper was once, although misguidedly, “more than a bit annoyed” that she didn’t win the position she’d originated onstage, even though on the age of fifty-two Cooper must have discovered she was once a piece lengthy within the teeth for Leslie Crosbie. )3 the opposite gamers have been in flux. George Brent was once provided the position of Robert Crosbie, yet he hottest the function of the attorney, Howard Joyce, which used to be taken by way of James Stephenson. Raymond Massey was once thought of in short. The position of Robert Crosbie was once finally given to Herbert Marshall—a great twist, provided that he’d been Geoff Hammond within the Paramount model. by means of April 1940, Wyler had signed on. He made requests: to paintings with Howard Koch at the script for ten days, and to borrow the cinematographer Gregg Toland from Goldwyn. He bought the 1st yet used to be denied the second one; The Letter will be shot by way of one in all Warners’ most sensible cinematographers, Tony Gaudio (though Ernie Haller used to be regularly Bette’s favorite). taking pictures started on might 27, 1940, with the outside of the Crosbie bungalow on degree 7, and it proceeded easily and definitely extra quickly than Wyler’s filming of Jezebel. first and foremost, the only pressure needed to do with Wyler’s having directed Herbert Marshall and James Stephenson to play one in every of their scenes in such low-key tones that Jack Warner couldn’t listen their discussion. four they'd to retake the ultimate close-up of Gale Sondergaard (as the Eurasian spouse) simply because, after viewing the rushes, everybody might evidently see her wig line. Hal Wallis additionally requested Wyler to reshoot the scene within which Mrs. Hammond perspectives her husband’s lifeless physique within the rubber drying shed simply because, based on Wallis, it appeared like it happened in a laundry.