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Directed by Alfred E. Green

United States 1935 79 mins.

Bette Davis won her first Academy Award for her portrayal of Joyce Heath, a Broadway actress down on her luck and needing rehabilitation to regain her lofty position among Broadway’s elite. She meets Don Bellows (Franchot Tone), an architect who was once inspired by Joyce to follow his career path, and who feels he owes her. Thus begins their relationship and her re-entry into stardom. Hanging over their seemingly idyllic pairing, however, is Don’s engagement and pending wedding, and Joyce’s shambles of a marriage that she’s desperate to hide by any means necessary. Joyce—self-identified as a jinx who brings trouble to everything with which she becomes involved—finds herself moving down a path of no return, grasping at the chance for salvation. “Bette Davis is such an eerie stimulant in this movie that you can see why some people loved her and others hated her, while still others were split.”—Pauline Kael.

Genres: Melodrama

Appears in: Bette & Joan