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Burnt Offerings

What a depressing film.

What was the point of the chauffeur?

Oliver Reed was a sexy daddy though.

by Anonymousreply 73October 25, 2021 12:24 AM

What is weird about Karen Black's eyes?

Cross-eyed? No pupils?

by Anonymousreply 1October 20, 2021 9:35 PM

That's DL icon Karen Black, R1.

by Anonymousreply 2October 20, 2021 9:42 PM

So creepy

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by Anonymousreply 3October 20, 2021 9:44 PM

Bette Davis chewing up the scenery.


by Anonymousreply 4October 20, 2021 9:48 PM

We watched this all the time when I was a kid. Part of my family's canon.

by Anonymousreply 5October 20, 2021 9:51 PM

The whole point of the chauffeur is to be creepy.

by Anonymousreply 6October 20, 2021 9:55 PM

I saw this movie as a kid when it opened. I remember leaving the theater nauseated by its relentless darkness. I don't mind dark horror films but the way this was done left me disgusted.

by Anonymousreply 7October 20, 2021 10:12 PM

To Ben chauffeur at his mother's funeral represented death. Image haunted the boy ever since that event particularly when he was ill or trying to sleep.

Malevolent spirt in then current form of Mrs. Allardyce knew this and used it to "her" advantage by tormenting Ben, provoking violent emotions, pain and suffering in the boy.

In Judaism burnt offerings were small animals burnt on an altar as a sacrifice. By extension of course the animals were dead, and via each human death "Mrs. Allardyce" claims victims (unwillingly) have become a sacrifice but to another purpose. Hence all those pictures in frames, those are poor souls who over years have been lured to their deaths at that home.

There is a scene in the book where Marian breaks down outside Mrs. Allardyce's room saying she has nothing left to give and the door opens to reveal the ghost of Mrs Allardyce, who looks at Marian with blazing eyes and possesses her, "burning everything out of her—grief and affection and memory—burning it out finally, until there was nothing".

Book IMHO was better than film....

by Anonymousreply 8October 20, 2021 10:43 PM

There's a dreary air about this whole movie.

I thought it would be more campy, less dreadful

by Anonymousreply 9October 21, 2021 4:25 AM

Not one of Bette's better film appearances, regardless of it being one of her later-stage career performances, IMO.

Karen Black's suggestion of attempts at acting talent appeared missing in this movie.

Agree about Reed. I thought that the actor who portrayed the son was annoying, though.

by Anonymousreply 10October 21, 2021 4:37 AM

I always get this movie mixed up with The Hearse starring Trish Van Devere. Is The Hearse worth watching?

by Anonymousreply 11October 21, 2021 4:56 AM

Bette Davis thought her co-star Reed was 'odious' and She didn't think Black paid her enough respect.

When EVERYONE around you is an asshole, Miss Bette Davis, it might be time to look at yourself.

by Anonymousreply 12October 21, 2021 4:38 PM

I saw this for the first time only recently on Prime. I thought it was quite good; Bette Davis is very watchable, but the Mum (Karen Black?) was very irritating.

by Anonymousreply 13October 21, 2021 4:43 PM

The house is the real star of this film! The Dunsmuir House in Oakland, CA.

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by Anonymousreply 14October 21, 2021 4:44 PM

The creepy actor who played the chauffeur died not too long ago.

by Anonymousreply 15October 21, 2021 4:49 PM

I just looked up Karen Black. I didn't know she was dead of cancer!

She looked like a beautiful lioness w/her wonky eye.

by Anonymousreply 16October 21, 2021 4:51 PM

[quote]The house is the real star of this film! The Dunsmuir House in Oakland, CA.

The house rejuvenates itself. The old shingles fall off and are replaced with new ones.

by Anonymousreply 17October 21, 2021 4:51 PM

Ha! Karen Black looks like a lioness and Oliver Reed looks like a monkey man

by Anonymousreply 18October 21, 2021 4:54 PM

I think this was the movie where she berated some production assistant and the guy went to go puke afterwards.

When Bette was told of this, she remarked that she had hoped he took a shit as well, since he was full of it when he talked to her.

by Anonymousreply 19October 21, 2021 4:56 PM

Oliver Reed was constantly drunk during the making of this film, you can't blame Bette for being irritated by that.

by Anonymousreply 20October 21, 2021 4:57 PM

R20 he doesn't look well at all in the film. Not surprised.

by Anonymousreply 21October 21, 2021 4:58 PM

Oliver Reed was drunk for every film he made

by Anonymousreply 22October 21, 2021 5:05 PM

In between "Easy Rider" and the first "Star Wars," downbeat stories with downbeat endings were very cool.

by Anonymousreply 23October 21, 2021 5:20 PM

I always get "The Hearse" mixed up with "The Car".

by Anonymousreply 24October 21, 2021 5:30 PM

Who doesn't, R 24.

by Anonymousreply 25October 21, 2021 5:41 PM

r19, To which the PA answered "What? A dump?"

by Anonymousreply 26October 21, 2021 5:55 PM

Oliver Reed was hot as hell. The movie is one of the creepiest I've ever seen. It really gets under my skin which, for a PG movie, is quite an accomplishment. That shows real skill. The thing that always haunted me the most about the film were all the photographs of the other families who stayed at the house. There's something really creepy about their expressions in those pictures.

by Anonymousreply 27October 21, 2021 6:38 PM

I was a little kid when I first saw it and was traumatized by all that happens to the little boy in the film. Lee H. Montgomery grew up to be hot in the 80s

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by Anonymousreply 28October 21, 2021 7:22 PM

Lee H. Montgomery seemed to specialize in playing really annoying children.

by Anonymousreply 29October 21, 2021 7:27 PM

"I always get "The Hearse" mixed up with "The Car"."

I'd prefer to get picked up by a car.

by Anonymousreply 30October 21, 2021 7:28 PM


Karen Black came along at just right time in Hollywood. Miss Black had a rocking body with great rack, but her flaws (wonky eyes) actually made her more realistic for many roles in "New Hollywood" films like Easy Rider.

Unlike previous bombshells, sexpots, etc... of old Hollywood films Ms. Black having a few flaws in her beauty made her more realistic, and seen likely as a woman most average guys stood a chance of getting.

Whatever she had it worked for Ms. Black. Her career was varied and rather longer than many would have otherwise thought.

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by Anonymousreply 31October 22, 2021 2:58 AM

Reed was pretty buff in that picture...big arms, huge chest....mmmmm

by Anonymousreply 32October 22, 2021 3:07 AM

IIRC Oliver Reed was a big sort of man overall. Remember seeing him for first time watching film "Oliver!" and thinking he was a big brute as Bill Sikes.

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by Anonymousreply 33October 22, 2021 3:10 AM

[quote] Karen Black's suggestion of attempts at acting talent appeared missing in this movie.

How very DARE you.

Black is a legend. She was also, somewhat privately, a singer songwriter. Her home tape reels were restored and select songs were released on vinyl earlier this year by musician (and her friend at the end of her life) Cass McCombs. I have the vinyl. She wrote all the songs except for a bonus track (or two?) at the end, and plays guitar on all except the last one. Actually a really great singer (though I’m sure some Broadway elderqueen on here will disagree with my assessment; whatever.)

The kid in this film— was he also in the TV movie Dead of Night (1977), a trilogy of vignettes, where the last one is about a lost (and presumed dead) son who comes back one stormy night to torment his mother? I think he was also in an episode of Columbo playing a “boy genius” who built a robot and becomes a witness in a murder investigation. Unless I’m confusing him for someone else.

by Anonymousreply 34October 22, 2021 3:17 AM

[quote]The whole point of the chauffeur is to be creepy.

I knew a guy who looked very much like this character. He was the mortician at the funeral I had an after school job at. And at times drove the hearse with a similar uniform.

by Anonymousreply 35October 22, 2021 3:17 AM

It's a shame that a great talent and legend like Bette Davis had to do dreck like this in her later career.

by Anonymousreply 36October 22, 2021 3:22 AM

"It's clearly upset Kate"

Bloated Reed was only 53 here, but could pass for 80.

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by Anonymousreply 37October 22, 2021 3:26 AM


Well when you have that daughter and rest of family sponging on you what else was there for Ms. Davis to do?

For her long life and career one would have assumed Bette Davis could have retired after golden age of Hollywood and studio system was over. That or be comfortable enough financially that she was secure enough only take work that was of interest. But no, at time of her death Bette Davis only left an estate of between $1 to $2 million USD.

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by Anonymousreply 38October 22, 2021 3:27 AM

True r38. Davis supported her entire family. Her mother and sister until they both died, and then of course her bitch daughter BD. BD and her husband were lazy leeches and Bette kept them at an upper-middle class level for many years. Her family just drained her dry.

by Anonymousreply 39October 22, 2021 3:31 AM

I’m cackling at the pairing of male chauvinist Reed and feminist Millett.

by Anonymousreply 40October 22, 2021 3:48 AM

I’m impressed at how willing Davis was to look her absolute worst in this. Can you imagine vain Crawford allowing herself to be filmed with no makeup and a sweaty gray wig? The scene where she’s contorted in bed and moaning like a dying animal is hard to watch. If you’ve ever dealt with a sick/dying elderly relative it was all too realistic.

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by Anonymousreply 41October 22, 2021 4:04 AM

Yes, horrifying R41. She didn’t look much better in The Watcher In The Woods 4 years later. Bless her.

by Anonymousreply 42October 22, 2021 4:06 AM

Davis was never afraid to look like complete shit in a film if it was appropriate for the character. She was an anomaly among her generation of star actresses.

by Anonymousreply 43October 22, 2021 4:07 AM

You can see Oliver Reed's and Alan Bates's rockin' younger bodies in Women in Love. The famous nude wrestling scene still gives me a boner.

by Anonymousreply 44October 22, 2021 4:09 AM

Vivacious Aunt Elizabeth becomes "Mrs. Allardyce's" first victim. The House kills her slowly by sucking the life and vitality out of aunt Elizabeth.

Before she dies aunt Elizabeth tries to get out of bed and we hear a "crack" sound. That was her bones breaking because they no longer could support body weight. In book Aunt Elizabeth is described shortly before her death as looking like a skeleton with pale and translucent skin. Mrs. Allardyce's work again, there's nothing left of the once full of life Aunt Elizabeth but a shell.

by Anonymousreply 45October 22, 2021 4:15 AM

True, r42. Davis generally looked pretty bad in this era. I think she must have been buying her wigs out of the back of a magazine. Did she not have a gay companion to style her better?

by Anonymousreply 46October 22, 2021 4:17 AM

She should have snatched one of Helen Lawson's stylish wigs.

by Anonymousreply 47October 22, 2021 4:19 AM

Yes, Bette's wig game was always pretty bad. The Dead Ringer wig was one of the ugliest wigs in the history of the world, and she wore it in her private life for awhile afterwards.

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by Anonymousreply 48October 22, 2021 4:25 AM

Bette's wigs in the 70s were also unfortunate.

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by Anonymousreply 49October 22, 2021 4:26 AM

The son played SJP’s love interest in “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”!

Karen Black is a goddess.

by Anonymousreply 50October 22, 2021 4:33 AM

She had good help on "Death on the Nile" (1978). Great hair and costumes all around.

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by Anonymousreply 51October 22, 2021 4:52 AM

Bette had a full facelift in the late 70s that definitely improved her appearance, but the damage from smoking and drinking couldn't be fully erased. The booze and cigs really did a number on her looks.

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by Anonymousreply 52October 22, 2021 5:03 AM

I have always liked this film. Great setting, great casting, great film. It's classic horror and no one dies better that Bette Davis.

It's not just a presence in the house bitches, it IS the house! Go watch it.

by Anonymousreply 53October 22, 2021 5:10 AM

This movie is a slow burn. It was an inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining".

by Anonymousreply 54October 22, 2021 6:05 AM

Makes a great double feature with The Sentinel. Burgess Meredith plays a flaming queen in that one, too!

by Anonymousreply 55October 22, 2021 12:56 PM

The Sentinel is good up to a point, then I feel it just becomes ridiculous. Stoops to a level Burnt Offerings doesn’t, despite what the couple of detractors here say about it.

by Anonymousreply 56October 22, 2021 4:04 PM

The kid grew up to be a gay hottie.

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by Anonymousreply 57October 22, 2021 4:23 PM

Is he really gay? ^^

by Anonymousreply 58October 22, 2021 4:25 PM

Oliver Reed's drinking capacity was un-fucking-believable, his Wiki page goes into detail about it. In one sitting, he drank quantities of alcohol that were enough to get three grown men drunk on their asses.

by Anonymousreply 59October 22, 2021 5:13 PM

Reed was an embittered twat with anger management issues. He was decent-looking for five seconds when he was younger. But he could act.

The house also crops up as the California mansion in "View to a Kill".

by Anonymousreply 60October 22, 2021 5:44 PM

R60 It’s also in Phantasm!

by Anonymousreply 61October 22, 2021 8:12 PM

I always thought Reed's big freakout at the end when he discovers "Mrs. Allardyce" was really well done. For such a butch man's man type, he really went for it and looks legitimately terrified.

by Anonymousreply 62October 22, 2021 10:19 PM

Those horrible wigs or wig on Bette Davis in Burnt Offerings may likely have resulted from her insistence on wearing that same quasi pageboy hair style for ages. Studio had a decent budget but to purchase a very expensive wig, then cut and style it in such a way it couldn't be used again (except for Bette Davis, haha), doesn't seem very economical.

Thus BD either likely brought her own, or something lower priced was used so there wasn't much loss if the thing(s) couldn't be used again.

BD of course came up through the studio system days of Golden Hollywood where entire departments were often devoted to wigs/hair styling. Actresses as employees of studios always had to look their best in public so letting them have access to wigs from studio wasn't a huge deal IIRC. It all was written off as a business expense anyway.

While not exactly a tax credit, BD could have written off cost of good wigs on her tax returns long as they involved business or her work. But again those children and family of hers were sucking BD dry, so the poor woman had to put herself together best she could I suppose.

by Anonymousreply 63October 23, 2021 10:30 PM

Katharine Hepburn was smart never to have children. She knew she would've been a terrible mother and had no regrets. She remained a wealthy woman to the day she died. Bette should've done the same.

by Anonymousreply 64October 23, 2021 11:12 PM


And her estate ended up going to the lesbian newscaster she "adopted" or whatever. Didn't Katherine Hepburn have any survivors, even distant relations?

Hollywood film starts of Bette Davis's era were all over the place when it came to their children. Joan Crawford certainly wasn't put into poor house by taking on her brood.

by Anonymousreply 65October 24, 2021 2:18 AM

Because Joan didn't support them as adults, like Bette did. Joan also didn't support her mother or brother like Bette did with her mother and sister.

Katharine Hepburn had a bunch of nieces and nephews but apparently they had their own money.

Greta Garbo left her entire estate, which was worth millions, to her niece. Lucky bitch.

by Anonymousreply 66October 24, 2021 3:05 AM

[quote]Because Joan didn't support them as adults, like Bette did.

For reasons that are well known to them.

by Anonymousreply 67October 24, 2021 7:10 AM

The business is still pretty bad for older actresses these days, but back then it was really awful. The ones who had enough $$$ either through marriage or wise investments like Gene Tierney, Greer Garson and a host of others decided they would rather just retire than still slog around Hollywood.

by Anonymousreply 68October 24, 2021 7:14 AM

Bette was in her 40s when BD was born. She had several abortions prior to that and probably thought it was now or never.

by Anonymousreply 69October 24, 2021 7:19 AM

Even Gar$on couldn't say no to "The Love Boat"!

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by Anonymousreply 70October 24, 2021 7:21 AM

[quote]At time of her death Bette Davis only left an estate of between $1 to $2 million USD.

I've read it wasn't even that much: around $800,000.

by Anonymousreply 71October 24, 2021 7:24 AM

Silly fools, they should have married well like I did...

by Anonymousreply 72October 24, 2021 8:03 AM


Numbers thrown around range from "around" $1 million to "between" $1-$2 million. Have read BD's estate was low as $600k, so $800k wouldn't be a shock either.

Bette Davis was supposed to receive $250,000 for five weeks week on her final picture, Wicked Stepmother, but quit after the first week and only got $50,000.

Gary Merrill died several months after BD and left a trust fund for Margo Merrill (his daughter) managed by Michael Merrill. For the record Gary Merrill didn't leave much of an estate either, numbers passed around are about same as for Bette Davis, between $1 to $2 million USD

Likely Gary Merrill knew or suspected BD had very little towards end of her life so someone had to provide for Margo Merrill who was disabled. Michael Merrill also received most of BD's estate so between his father and mother both himself and Margo benefitted most. Which again considering Margo Merrill's condition is as things should have been.

Link below gives pretty good summary of BD's estate and who got what.

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by Anonymousreply 73October 25, 2021 12:24 AM
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