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Deception was originally to star Barbara Stanwyck. In the end though, it reunited Bette Davis with Paul Henreid who had worked together in Now, Voyager years earlier. Go further behind-the-scenes of the drama below!
1. Claude Rains’ part was off-screen originally.
The film was based on the play M. Lamberthier by Louis Verneuil, but the work only had two actors. Before becoming a Warner Brothers picture, it was adapted into a Broadway play and a 1929 Paramount drama. Originally, Rains’ part was off-stage, but the films brought his character into the action.
2. Production fell behind.
A week into filming, Bette Davis got into a serious car crash when another driver forced her off of the road. Davis’ head hit the windshield and caused it to shatter. Thankfully, she escaped any major injuries, though she did experience dizzy spells. However, due to sickness, a finger injury, and pregnancy, Davis had to take additional time off during filming. The production ended up going 46 days over schedule.
3. A cat caused problems.
At the time, Bette Davis had lost her dog, Tibby. The canine companion was so loved that it received a brown velvet coffin and a special burial spot. As a result, Davis asked for the scene in which Claude Rains pets his cat to be nixed. When filming the moment, the cat was not a good scene partner and scratched Rains multiple times. Davis said, “They doped the cat until it couldn’t move, and when Claude got to the point where he could stroke the cat it was so heavily drugged that it looked dead.”
4. Bette wanted to look good.
Like many actresses, Davis wanted to look her best on camera. "I was not young anymore. Thirty-nine, to be exact, and I needed special lighting," Davis said. She requested cameraman Ernest Haller for the picture because, as director Irving Rapper said, he was “very concerned with making female stars look beautiful.” One day, worried about her appearance, Davis asked Haller why he couldn’t make her look the way she did in Jezebel, which he also worked on. Haller replied, “Bette, I was seven years younger then.” Davis worked with Haller on fourteen films.