Feud: when Bette Davis went to war with Joan Crawford

“‘She doesn’t drink scotch,’ I said. ‘She drinks vodka.’

“‘I don’t care what she drinks. This is going into her f—— face.’”

Crawford, unsurprisingly, kept a wide berth all night.

Equally unsurprisingly, a second planned collaboration between the pair, 1964’s  Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte, which was also helmed by “Baby Jane” director Robert Aldrich, failed to materialise in its intended form. Crawford left, amid rumours that she had been feigning illness to avoid the shoots, and was replaced by Davis’s friend Olivia de Havilland. Davis and Crawford would never work together again.

Of course, it’s likely that some of the more colourful stories about the pair’s enmity have been exaggerated across the years – and despite their differences, it’s clear that both women felt a grudging respect for the other. In the audio recording below, Davis praises her rival’s professionalism, and refuses to badmouth Crawford solely for the entertainment of the interviewer and his audience (although she can’t resist cheekily hinting that, off the record, she’d have plenty of scurrilous things to say).

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