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Recommended

Joan vs. Bette

Every Thu. from May 26-June 23
7:30 p.m.
$8
Festivals, Film
Few modern-day celebrity rivalries measure up to the sheer contempt that screen legends Joan Crawford and Bette Davis held for one another. Joan vs. Bette, a five-film series, allows audiences to take a neutral position and simply marvel at the prowess of two of the most magnetic starlets in Hollywood history. Bette begins the series with Dark Victory (1939), a melodrama in which Davis' reckless heroine finds true love while battling a terminal illness. Joan enters the proceedings with Dancing Lady (1933), a sprightly pre-Code musical featuring Crawford as an aspiring dancer attempting to make it from burlesque to Broadway. The next week offers All About Eve (1950), featuring one of Davis' most celebrated roles as an aging actress fending off an ambitious young rival. Crawford follows up with The Damned Don't Cry (1950), a noir thriller centered on a bored housewife who abandons her husband to find excitement as a mobster's mistress. The culmination of the series brings the two rivals together for the brilliantly unhinged Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) in which the co-stars' unrelenting animosity brought a palpable intensity to the tale of a wheelchair-bound former child star under the care of her deranged sister.