I'D LOVE TO KISS YOU. . ."" Conversations with Bette Davis by Whitney Stine
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I'D LOVE TO KISS YOU. . ."" Conversations with Bette Davis

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Of the four Bette Davis books in recent months, this tops them all. In 1974, Stine wrote the Davis bio Mother Goddam, which appeared with a running commentary in red ink written by Davis herself. The present book opens in 1972 with Stine meeting Davis for the first time and persuading her to write that running commentary on his version of her life. We learn here that during this resultant period of working together, Davis asked Stine to marry her. Since at 40 he was still having problems getting his writing career started, and was 20 years younger than Davis, he turned her down. Later, as recorded now by Stine: ""She turned out the light beside the sofa. 'I'm very tired,' she said. '. . .But, I still think we should get married and tell the rest of the world to go fuck themselves!'"" And on the artistic hardships of filmmaking: ""The difficult thing about Film was. . .that you never knew which take they'd print. By the second week of filming, you didn't even dare to think about what your performance was going to look like up there. You were in the director's hands completely. He had the final cut. . ."" Stine's text issues almost totally from Davis' mouth and is a fantasia about all of her Films, right up to The Whales of August (in which she played Lillian Gish's older blind sister when Gish was 94!) and Wicked Stepmother, her last works. She also discusses her love life with great frankness about famous bedmates and reacts with shock to her daughter's book about her. Stine died five days after Davis succumbed to cancer. She would have adored his new book--one long aria from the horse's mouth.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1990
Publisher: Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster