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Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud

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4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  589 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Explosive, exhaustive and unsparing, the inside, tell-all story of the celebrated, long-term feud of Hollywood's two greatest screen legends, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
Paperback, 482 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Sphere (first published January 1st 1989)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,251)
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Kirsti
Mar 24, 2009 Kirsti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vulgar, cruel, and without any redeeming social value. I enjoyed it immensely.
Samantha Glasser
Jul 17, 2012 Samantha Glasser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: movies, non-fiction
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were two of the biggest stars of their time, and their time lasted several decades. Each appeared in important movies and were staples of the golden age of Hollywood. Both worked for Warner Brothers for a time, made one (and a half) film(s) together, and both ended their careers in a series of cheap horror flicks. Perhaps it is because of these similarities that they seemed to have a rivalry, although they often ignored or denied its existence. This book examines th ...more
James
May 15, 2013 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is required reading at the National Organization for Offensive Gay Stereotypes (along with my previously reviewed Get Happy), but I didn’t just read it to get the free caftan. I have been obsessed with old Hollywood biographies for a while now, and had heard from several trusted sources that this was one of the best. Now that I’ve read it, I couldn’t agree more. The best biographies offer both juicy details and extensively researched facts, and this book is bursting at the seams with b ...more
Denise
This book was an entertaining guilty pleasure and lots of fun to read. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford shall remain my two favorite old actresses, even though Joan stole Yul Brynner from me before I was born...and even though they were probably the meanest two women to come out of old Hollywood.
Drew Hoffman
May 21, 2015 Drew Hoffman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're looking for insight into the artistry and skill of two of the biggest Hollywood legends to ever grace the movie screen, this book isn't for you. However, if you're looking for juicy personal details, outrageous quips, and a bitchy thrill ride of epic proportions, this book will knock your socks off! To wit:

"She has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie." -Bette Davis

“Miss Davis was always partial to covering up her face in motion pictures. She called it ‘art.’ Others might ca
...more
Una Tiers
These are two mean chicks.
Autumn Renae
I started this book with the general thought in mind that it would be full of rumors and lies abot the two stars, however, all of the facts and statements seemed rather accurate. Overall, the book itself was not bad, however, I feel it had a few major flaws.
1) The author barely acknowledged Joan's possible bisexuality. He simply said it wasn't very likely and moved on, but many accounts have stated that Joan was in fact bisexual and had multiple affairs with both men and women, including Marilyn
...more
Joshua Wiles
May 15, 2014 Joshua Wiles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were legendary actresses. They've starred in dozens of classic films, from Mildred Pierce to All About Eve to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? However, in the decades since their death several things have overshadowed their careers: the feud between the two (which they always denied any knowledge of when asked), the behind the scenes havoc they created, the men they slept with and the affairs they had, and the horrible treatment their daughters accused them of.

Bette
...more
Jon
Nov 24, 2008 Jon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wondrous, WONDROUS account of the lives and careers of these ladies. It's possible that some of the feelings depicted weren't precisely the way they are presented, but it's too much fun to discount any of it. It is gossipy, juicy, funny, catty... and also thorough. Fans of the stars will not be able to put it down and will laugh audibly at the remarks the ladies allegedly made through the years about each other.
Ruth
One of the best biographies I've read, mainly because the relationship between these two women not only seemed personal, but the studio system in Hollywood and the producers who ran the entire game appeared to be fannng the flames. But I think what shines through most of all is how these women fought, scraped, begged and borrowed in spite of everything set against them in order to survive. And the ways in which they did it are certainly worth the read. Bette and Joan lived larger than life and t ...more
Elise Swenson
Nov 14, 2013 Elise Swenson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is great!!!! Not since the "The Hollywood Vampyres" has there been such an epoch book. This is a must read for anyone who loves old movies. I only gave it 4 stars because it was too short.
Abdi Nazemian
May 01, 2014 Abdi Nazemian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book is about the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, which immediately makes it a classic. Now how about a sequel about Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland?
Anna Todd
Jun 10, 2015 Anna Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 920
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Claire
Dec 15, 2013 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much like the careers of both Bette and Joan, this book does not disappoint! If you are a fan of either actress as well as celebrity biographies then you will no doubt enjoy this book as much as I did. One of the things that makes this book so great is its dual perspective. Considine explores the complicated and often tense relationship of the two by profiling the intersections of their respective careers, and the book never loses focuses. Both Bette and Joan made as many films in as many years ...more
Judi
Feb 07, 2013 Judi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is available free to Prime members on Kindle's lending library, so I downloaded it for my monthly "freebie" because of the positive reviews it received. If you are a fan of old Hollywood, and these ladies in particular, I highly recommend! Author Considine does a great job bringing you right into the middle of their antagonistic rivalry towards each other. Crawford, was the "star", and Davis, the "actress". The lengths these two went to cut the other down is more than entertaining-it's ...more
Kimberly Rahi
Dec 23, 2013 Kimberly Rahi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud," is a classic, catty tale. You can't believe everything you hear... or everything you read for that matter. Therefore, the same can be said for this book. Take it with a grain of salt, laugh at the foolishness of "two old broads" and relish the trip back in time when actors and actresses of the silver screen were in a class all their own.

Bette and Joan were leading ladies of the 1940's; unstoppable, the world in their palms and they knew it. The thought of shari
...more
chucklesthescot
I lost the notes that I had for this review which is a shame because this was a really fascinating book about the long running feud between two of the biggest female film stars ever.

Bette viewed herself as superior because she battled her way to the top on her acting skills and hated that Joan Crawford got her fame by way of the casting couch. She was also furious that at her first moment of fame she felt slighted by Joan's behaviour that day and never forgave her for it. To be fair, if I remem
...more
Eve
Apr 24, 2014 Eve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very well done

I read a previous review that described the book like a vigorous tennis match and that is a great way to describe this story. Two classic hollywood legends with strong personalities that thought they had nothing in common. The back and forth style shows how alike and different they were and contains so much rich history. Funny, sad and inspires both respect and disdain for both. Very enjoyable.
Suki McFarland
Mar 09, 2011 Suki McFarland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well first off, I'd like to make it clear that I'm marking this on the basis that it is a biography, so it's not really appropriate to compare to novels!
and now for gush:
I loved this book! It really brought me into the intricate, strange world of early Hollywood and these women's unusual lives. The realization that modern day Hollywood has no Divas to compare them to made me quite sad- they are truly something from a lost era. While I felt the book left something to be desired in terms of conclu
...more
Maysie Porter
Jul 30, 2013 Maysie Porter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford would have been two of the biggest actresses in the 1930s and 1940s but they never really got on. They had an ongoing feud. Joan wanted Bette in ways that disgusted Bette. It goes through their lives and how their lives interlinked in some ways.

I prefer Bette, Joan Crawford was too masculine for my liking and her acting is not very good. But they both did whatever happened to baby Jane together and when Bette was nominated for an oscar, Joan sabotaged it. Joan alway
...more
Chelsea
Dec 24, 2014 Chelsea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You would have thought I was reading the latest fiction page turner. I could NOT put this down. One of the juiciest tales of Hollywood delivered fantastically.
Leo
Mar 16, 2014 Leo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Packed with fantastic, salacious anecdotes, this is everything a Bette and Joan fan could wish for.
Sarah Martin
May 27, 2015 Sarah Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A divine read for greedy gossip mongers that like their tell-all's with a bit of glamour
Suzanne
May 09, 2012 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was able to borrow this from the Kindle Lending Library, and I am very happy with this selection. It is chock full of scoop and scandy from the Golden Age of Hollywood. While the focus is the Davis/Crawford feud, there are many stories of other actors, agents, stylists, etc. who had to face the wrath of these two indomitable women. I found much to love and loathe about the actresses, but found myself cheering for Bette Davis slightly more. Her quotes made me wish for a less PC Hollywood than w ...more
J. Allen Nelson
A fun ride through Hollywood history. I was surprised to see that the author was able to talk with both Crawford and Davis over the years, as well as other notables from the era, as I thought this might be just a fix-up of quotes and anecdotes, and "juicy lore." Definitely more in-depth than one would suppose, and offers insight into the minds and actions of two of Hollywoods greatest personalities.
Simply amazing that both resisted the notion that they were rivals. Now I must go out and see "B
...more
Fulya İçöz
Nov 30, 2012 Fulya İçöz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed myself silly when I was reading some chapters! Both Joan and Bette are difficult people, I believe but Bette is worse. She's tough and unforgiving, she's a survivor. She's frank and quite direct. Joan is difficult in a different way, she can backstab you and can do it so elegantly! I don't believe some parts mentioned in the book, they can be pure Hollywood gossip. It was fun reading, it gave me a chance to monitor both of these wonderful women's lives. I think I love *itches, and beli ...more
Andy Moss
A fun read, although I'm not sure the feud suggested at in the title is much more than a faint PR wheeze, and the books existence probably has more to do with the author having met both actors at some point (and he is not shy about mentioning it).
Doris Raines
Too. Deva's
Terri Jacobson
This is a light and entertaining book about the careers of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. They were born in the same year, 1908, and they were rivals throughout their time in Hollywood. The glamorous settings of the movie industry from the 1920s to the 1950s were especially interesting. Bette Davis had a real dislike for Crawford. Referencing Crawford's famous promiscuity, Davis said "She slept with every major star at MGM except Lassie." It was little gems like these that made the book interest ...more
Pat
Ay! Menudo par de bitches. :3 #TeamCrawford
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“It was Ernie Haller, who had photographed Bette Davis in Jezebel and Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind, who was solely responsible for the visuals in Mildred Pierce, said Crawford. "Ernie was at the rehearsals. And so was Mr. [Anton] de Grot, who did the sets. I recall seeing Ernie's copy of the script and it was filled with notations and diagrams. I asked him if these were for special lights and he said, 'No, they're for special shadows.' Now, that threw me. I was a little apprehensive. I was used to the look of Metro, where everything, including the war pictures, was filmed in blazing white lights. Even if a person was dying there was no darkness. But when I saw the rushes of Mildred Pierce I realized what Ernie was doing. The shadows and half-lights, the way the sets were lit, together with the unusual angles of the camera, added considerably to the psychology of my character and to the mood and psychology of the film. And that, my dear, is film noir." "Mildred” 0 likes
“The story told, true or fabled, was that Rock was back in the pool house, taking a shower, when the lights went out. Suddenly he felt the warm, naked body of Joan Crawford beside him. "Sssh, baby," she whispered, "close your eyes and pretend I'm Clark Gable.*4” 0 likes
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