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New this Fall!

Buy 2 or more classes at the same time and save 25% off the total.

The Genius of Bette Davis

Save 25% when purchasing this with other classes from this Fall's semester.


Instructor: Terry Ebinger
Thursdays, September 14 – October 5, 2:00 – 5:00 PM, East Rec
(Note: Early start time)
4-week session, Cost: $95

Course Description:
Dive deeply into four masterworks featuring intense, audacious, indelible Bette Davis performances. Investigate the woman, actress and studio system challenger via psychology, myth, culture and the symbolic language of cinema. Dark Victory; The Letter; The Little Foxes; Now, Voyager.

Course Detail:
This course offers a deep dive into four masterful films starring Bette Davis, featuring her signature emotional intensity embodied in audaciously tormented spinsters, vindictive killers, and passionate romantics. Psychology, myth, cultural history and the symbolic language of cinema will guide our investigation into her bold artistic choices, studio battles, creative evolution, and the recurring archetypal motifs in her greatest works. Sessions include lecture, full movie, group discussion, and illuminating analysis of images and film clips.

Dark Victory • Women’s Melodrama; The Haughty Heroine is Humbled The Letter • A Woman Scorned and Enraged; Colonialism on Trial
The Little Foxes • Woman as Dark Patriarch; Greed as Poisonous Legacy Now, Voyager • The Death Mother Healed; Vital Self-Love Restored

Instructor Biography:
Terry Ebinger, MS is a passionate film scholar with over three decades’ experience as a depth psychological practitioner, educator, dream consultant, and multidisciplinary group leader. Her film studies synthesize myth, psychology, cultural history, and the symbolic language of cinema. She has taught at Mythica Institute, The Jung Institute, Myth Salon, the American Academy of University Women, The Dream Institute, several Bay Area Lifelong Learning programs, and her online Cinema Cafe salons.


Course Outline:
Each session will begin with multimedia lecture, then move on to full viewing of a movie, and return after the movie for an engaging, in-depth discussion.

Week 1: Dark Victory (Goulding; 1939; Warner Brothers; 104m)
Women’s Melodrama as Genre for Mythic Emotional Heights and Depths The Haughty Heroine is Humbled as the Production Code Required
Davis as Prime Exemplar of Intense and Wide Ranging Character Portraits

Week 2: The Letter (Wyler; 1940; Warner Brothers; 95m )
Two Women Scorned; Two Vindictive Lovers Enraged; Vengeance is Hers Colonialism on Trial as Tale of Class Privilege and Underclass Revenge Bette Davis and William Wyler: A Brilliant Golden Age Cinematic Pairing

Week 3: The Little Foxes (Wyler; 1941; RKO; 116m )
Woman as Toxic Patriarch Possessed by Ambition and Power
Greed as Poisonous Legacy ; The Dark Underbelly of Unprocessed Loss
Davis the Feminine Vanguard: Challenging and Defying the Studio System

Week 4: Now, Voyager (Rapper; 1942; Warner Brothers; 117m )
Leaving the Home of the Victorian Death Mother; The Healthy Masculine Psychotherapy as Humanist Sanctuary for Individuation and Selfhood
Bette Davis as Hollywood Icon, Legendary Actor, Uncensored Legacy-Maker

Click here if you have already purchased this class and need the Zoom info or recordings.