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Bette Davis’ ‘indestructible’ temper sparked huge row with Warner Bros over Hollywood ban | Movies | Entertainment

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Today, Davis is on a list of Hollywood’s top stars like her performance in 1978’s Death on the Nile, which aired from 3.45pm on BBC Two. Davis appears on screen alongside Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, Maggie Smith, David Niven, Mia Farrow and Angela Lansbury. Agatha Christie’s crime mystery follows Poirot and his attempts to solve the murder of spoiled American heiress Linnet Ridgeway, who was killed on a Nile cruise.

Poirot, however, faces a difficult task as everyone above the set has a reason to kill Ridgeway.

Davis was nominated for an incredible 11 Best Actress Oscars, winning the title in 1935 and 1938 for Dangerous and Jezebel respectively.

While Davis became one of Hollywood’s most beloved performers, her career was almost completely cut short following an infamous falling out with Warner Bros in the early thirties.

The argument centered on Davis’ desire to turn down certain roles Warner Bros. offered her, which she eventually took a stand again.

According to Harper’s Bazaar in 2020, if an actor or actress turned down a role offered by their contracted studio, they would face consequences that would impact their career.

The report noted that the stars signed a contract with a studio, which meant they couldn’t pick up work from others.

The only exception to these, it was claimed, was when executives could loan actors out for other projects.

Biography reported that studios might also put an actor on at the last minute if they knew a film was going to fail, in hopes their appearance would generate more interest.

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Davis was signed to Warner Bros in the early 1930s, but became uncomfortable with the studio in the years that followed, with American feather ruffling for refusing to star in films such as Mildred Pierce.

But it sparked a major row with Warner Bros and saw the actor take them to court over the right to reject films.

Although unsuccessful, Davis’ fight saw her move to England for a period when she was unable to recover from work, only to return to the United States and work again at higher pay.

Davis’ impact on the Hollywood film industry remained publicized, including by her peers, which later included Academy Award starlet Meryl Streep.

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Davis was signed to Warner Bros in the early 1930s, but became uncomfortable with the studio in the years that followed, with American feather ruffling for refusing to star in films such as Mildred Pierce.

But it sparked a major row with Warner Bros and saw the actor take them to court over the right to reject films.

Although unsuccessful, Davis’ fight saw her move to England for a period when she was unable to recover from work, only to return to the United States and work again at higher pay.

Davis’ impact on the Hollywood film industry remained publicized, including by her peers, which later included Academy Award starlet Meryl Streep.

Streep is often compared to Davis for her range of acting styles, and when she received the top Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bette Davis Foundation, the actor complimented it.

She said: “My first memory of Bette Davis is a powerful image of a burning image on a small screen.

“For me, Bette Davis stood out from other actresses with her boldness.

“How Miss Davis challenged Warner Bros. in her determination to get better scripts and how her career sometimes suffered from that challenge. But the audacity I speak of is the bravery of her work.

“Bette Davis seemed willing, even had an appetite, for traditionally unattractive roles.

“She changed the requirement that actresses in films be invariably likable or attractive. She lifted the veil of appropriate behavior in women to expose what was scary, unexpected or ugly – in other words, to do what which was appropriate for the character.”

She added in 2016: “Along with all the actresses of my generation, I directly benefit from the will and the determination of Bette Davis.

“Thanks to his hard-fought achievements, we’ve all had it a little easier.”

Davis also made Oscar history when she became the first person to earn five consecutive acting nominations, a feat matched only by Greer Garson.

Death on the Nile airs today from 3.45pm on BBC Two.

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2/ https://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/films/1618820/bette-davis-films-warner-bros-hollywood-ban-golden-age-of-cinema-death-on-nile-spt

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