By my calculations, Bette Davis and Katherine Hepburn are the two greatest actresses of all time. Even AFI's 100 Years... 100 Stars ranked Katherine #1 and Bette #2.
Sure, on a good day, Barbara Stanwyck could put up a fight but Babs had a lot of bad days in between. Joan Crawford was consistently good and would give 100% even if the script was complete shlock. But even at her best Crawford was nowhere near Bette's caliber.
Who else is there?
Garbo? Dietrich? Don't make me laugh... Garbo was a great silent actress but her talkies leave much to be desired. Dietrich I like a lot she was more important in terms of style. Acting-wise, she was not of Kate or Bette's leage.
Audrey Hepburn? One trick pony IMO. Played the same charater in every movie. Vivien Leigh? Gone With The Wind & Street Car Named Desire and what else? Two hit wonder.
So that leaves us Katherine Hepburn and Bette Motherfuckin' Davis. Ya feel me?
Two completely different styles. Both could do things that the other couldn't do. Hepburn could never pull off Davis's role in Of Human Bondage. Davis could never pull off Hepburn's role in Bringing Up Baby.
So who's better? So I break it down like this:
Must See Movies:
Bringing Up Baby
Apprenticeship: Very Brief. Won an academy award for Morning Glory (her third movie)
Strength: Did drama and comedy equally well. Engaging personality.
Weaknesses: As my mom said "Hepburn is always playing Hepburn." I've never seen Hepburn play a villain or an unsympathetic character. I question wether she could have pull it off.
Must See Movies:
Of Human Bondage
The Petrified Forest
All About Eve
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
Apprenticeship: Pretty Long. Of Human Bondage (her breakout movie) was her 23 movie.
Strengths: She could make you love her (Petrified Forest) or hate her (Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?). Either way, she was always INTENSE.
Weaknesses: Could not do comedy to save her life. She did some comedy movies but was always the sraight man (or comic foil).
So. Katherine Hepburn or Bette Davis. Who was best? Discuss.
Yes, I was drunk when I posted this.