City Paper is not for tourists
An out-of-work-actress-turned-Oscar-winner, an embittered employee involved in a studio lawsuit, a combative co-worker, a failed producer: Bette Davis played every Hollywood character there was, and that was just in her personal life. On-screen, the feisty actress assumed roles even more flamboyant, from a former child star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? to an egomaniacal Broadway diva in All About Eve. The Library of Congress’ “Classical Hollywood Women: Bette Davis” film series collects some of the actress’s earliest work—including her lackluster screen debut in Hobart Henley’s 1931 crime drama Bad Sister, in which she plays a small-town girl who gets swindled by a con artist, and Alfred E. Green’s 1936 romantic comedy The Golden Arrow, featuring Davis as a waitress posing as a facial-cream heiress. Davis’ most notable performance in the series—that of a repressed-spinster-turned-bombshell in Irving Rapper’s 1942 melodrama Now, Voyager—earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress. Meanwhile, composer Max Steiner—whose musical score Davis claimed distracted from her performance—also received a nomination. Steiner won an Oscar; Davis didn’t. Bad Sister and The Golden Arrow screen at 6:30 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Mary Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677.