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Mr. Skeffington (1944)

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Commentaries on this disc:

Commentary 1: Director Vincent Sherman Rating:6.0/10 (1 vote) [graph]Login to vote or review
Reviewed by petershelleyau on April 29th, 2012:Find all reviews by petershelleyau
Sherman's commentary is only occasionally scene-specific, he repeats himself, and there are some long pauses. He comments on his directing background, casting, scenes that were cut for the film's shorter version and one that is restored for the DVD, score, photography and camerawork, costumes, the film's weaknesses, and the film's reception and Oscar nominations. Sherman can sound rambling, describes plot, and repeats the phrase "and so on and so forth". The centrepiece of the commentary is his discussion of working with Bette Davis. The anecdotes he gives may or may not be news to fans, depending on whether they have read his autobiography Studio Affairs. However for those that haven't, he talks about how he first met Davis, their previous collaboration on Old Aquaintance, her pronouncement of her love for him and his rejection of her, and the resultant nightmare she became on this film. Apart from fighting with him over "camera placement", Sherman also tells how he disagreed with her on the higher-pitched voice Davis used, and on the aging makeup she wanted for the part. His beginning an affair midway through filming temporarily halted her antagonism which soon resumed when he refused to marry her. Sherman also comments that Davis' emotional state was also influenced by the death of her husband, Arthur Farnsworth. Even if one has read these stories in his book, it's nice to hear them told by the director himself.