Posted by ESC on July 10, 2006
In Reply to: Bette Davis posted by Gary Martin on July 10, 2006
: : : BIRDS PECK AT THE BEST FRUIT - "I've always hated being gossiped about. When I heard that people were talking about me, I consoled myself with what my mother, Ruthie, used to say: birds peck at the best fruit." Page 6.
: : : BRAIN-VAIN - "Men never wanted me, or SEEMED to want me, for my mind. They didn't pay much attention to my mind. That was hard on a person who was as brain-vain as I." Page 16.
: : : FUDGIES - "I loved it best in New England during the late fall, the winter, and the early spring when the 'fudgies' weren't there. You know who the 'fudgies' are? Those tourists who come to New England from all over the country, only in season. Then, the local people make fudge in their kitchens to sell." - Page 152.
: : : CATCHING FLIES - Describing Miriam Hopkins' technique of scene stealing or upstaging other actors: ".she was a charming woman. Professionally, you just had to accept that she was going to try to steal the scene from you in any way possible.Her favorite trick was never looking at you when you were speaking. She would be looking all over the set, 'catching flies' as they used to call it on the stage. Then, she would change the business in our close-ups together so that mine didn't match hers." Page 139.
: : : FEELINGS CAN'T BE PROMISED -- "Wishful thinking is an important element of happiness. It has to do with looking forward. Part of happiness is being able to look forward to future happiness. It's why men find us so foolish when we women ask them to promise that the passion and bliss we feel now will be mutually shared for years to come. The only man who can give you such an assurance would be a romantic who is as much of a fool as you are, or a liar. The latter is easier to find. Feelings can't be promised. Actions can be promised, but not emotions." Page 16.
: : : Bette Davis speaking in "The Girl Who Walked Home Alone: Bette Davis: A Personal Biography." Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y. 2006.
: : "Catching flies" is great. Never heard that before.
: "Catching flies" in the UK is gawping in surprise with one's mouth open, but I like Davis' version too.
In the United States also: "Close your mouth. You're catching flies." I am guessing that Bette's meaning relates to a cat tracking a fly with his eyes. At least, that's what I've witnessed here at the ESC household.