When Bette Met Mae

When Bette Met Mae

In the fall of 1973, a cocktail party was given by Charles Pollack, a West Hollywood designer, for his house guest Bette Davis and her guest Mae West. Bette and Mae had never met, but each held the other in high regard. Miss West was accompanied by her two escorts, Stan Musgrove and Glenn Shahan, who were eager to meet Miss Davis. Also present were Chuck Pollock, Vik Greenfield, who had been Miss Davis’s personal assistant, and Wes Wheadon, a neighbor and friend of the host and Miss Davis. That night, Wes was the bartender, and he tape recorded the evening as he served drinks. The conversation was kept lively thanks to questions posed by the guests. Nothing was sacred, and alcohol loosened tongues as the evening progressed. The conversation covered a multitude of topics. The ladies discussed their careers, how they crafted their unique styles of acting, and their screen images. They discussed writing scripts, demanding pay, screen rights, residuals, the film business and politics of the film business at it height. Censorship, the Hays Code, popularity, husbands, boyfriends, children and family and even what each thought of being impersonated. Fairness in employment was discussed, and a host of other topics. "Girl Chat" as it were. In 2011, the tape recording made that night was painstakingly restored and synched to on-screen actors’ movements to create this film, bringing the original party back to life. It was completed late in 2014. Many invented and innovative techniques were used to bring the evening to the screen. The documentary also adds backstory clarification to the topics under discussion, narrated by Sally Kellerman, illuminating the very real impact each woman had not only on film history, but on our culture today.
In the fall of 1973, a cocktail party was given by Charles Pollack, a West Hollywood designer, for his house guest Bette Davis and her guest Mae West. Bette and Mae had never met, but each held the other in high regard. Miss West was accompanied by her two escorts, Stan Musgrove and Glenn Shahan, who were eager to meet Miss Davis. Also present were Chuck Pollock, Vik Greenfield, who had been Miss Davis’s personal assistant, and Wes Wheadon, a neighbor and friend of the host and Miss Davis. That night, Wes was the bartender, and he tape recorded the evening as he served drinks. The conversation was kept lively thanks to questions posed by the guests. Nothing was sacred, and alcohol loosened tongues as the evening progressed. The conversation covered a multitude of topics. The ladies discussed their careers, how they crafted their unique styles of acting, and their screen images. They discussed writing scripts, demanding pay, screen rights, residuals, the film business and politics of the film business at it height. Censorship, the Hays Code, popularity, husbands, boyfriends, children and family and even what each thought of being impersonated. Fairness in employment was discussed, and a host of other topics. "Girl Chat" as it were. In 2011, the tape recording made that night was painstakingly restored and synched to on-screen actors’ movements to create this film, bringing the original party back to life. It was completed late in 2014. Many invented and innovative techniques were used to bring the evening to the screen. The documentary also adds backstory clarification to the topics under discussion, narrated by Sally Kellerman, illuminating the very real impact each woman had not only on film history, but on our culture today.