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‘When Bette Met Mae’

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DVDWhenBetteIn the fall of 1973, a cocktail party was given by Charles Pollack, a West Hollywood designer, for his houseguest Bette Davis and her guest, Mae West. Davis and West had never met, but each held the other in high regard. Also present were Vik Greenfield, who had been Davis’ personal assistant, and Wes Wheadon, a neighbor and friend of both the host and Bette Davis. Wheadon tape-recorded the evening. Nothing was sacred, and alcohol loosened tongues as the evening progressed. The women discussed—among many other topics—censorship, husbands, boyfriends, and even what each thought of being impersonated. The tape recording made that night was painstakingly restored and synched to on-screen actors’ movements to create this film, bringing the original party back to life. Many invented and innovative techniques were used to bring the evening to the screen. The documentary also adds back-story clarification (narrated by Sally Kellerman) about the topics under discussion, which serves to underscore the very real impact each woman had not only on film history, but on our culture today. MVD Entertainment Group (mvdb2b.com). —Troy Carrington

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Troy Carrington

Troy Carrington is a regular contributor to OutSmart Magazine.

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