The Best Catfights In Hollywood History

Categories: Film


They're all in John DiLeo's new book, Screen Savers II: My Grab Bag of Classic Movies, and not surprisingly, a bunch of them involve Susan Hayward.

In fact, as anyone with any breeding knows, the above scene has Hayward as aging battle-ax Helen Lawson getting into a tussle with Patty Duke as pill-popping Neely O'Hara in that immortal battle of the barracudas, Valley of the Dolls.

Well, DiLeo has included that one, while also listing some other memorable big-screen catfights, and made it a guessing game.

Here's his list of the two-actress combos and then the movies they might be from.

And you have to match them up.

Without Googling, or I'll rip your wig off!

Here goes:

1. Susan Hayward/Marsha Hunt

2. Susan Hayward/Eleanor Todd

3. Susan Hayward/Patty Duke. (If you don't get this one right, you're not much of a listener.)

4. Ann Miller/Dolores Gray

5. Joan Bennett/Vivian Blaine

6. Jane Wyman/Alexis Smith

7. Barbara Stanwyck/Dorothy Burgess

8. Rosalind Russell/Paulette Godard

9. Marlene Dietrich/Una Merkel

10. Dorothy Malone/Virginia Mayo

And the movies:

A. Here Comes the Groom

B. Destry Rides Again

C. The Women

D. Valley of the Dolls

E. Colorado Territory

F. Ladies They Talk About

G. The Lusty Men

H. The Opposite Sex

I. Nob Hill

J. Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman

Start matching!

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Shirley Mclaine and Anne Bancroft in The Turning Point was left off the list. One of if not the best.


They aren't exactly catfights, but Joan Crawford -

- and daughter Veda slapping each other at various points in "Mildred Pierce"

- being slapped by Bette Davis in "Baby Jane"

- slapping Osa Massen around in "A Woman's Face"

- knocking a girl down a flight of stairs in "Possessed"

- and of course the gunfight with Mercedes McCambridge in "Johnny Guitar"

- plus numerous other kicks, punches, and slaps in other films


Southern Dave
Southern Dave

"The Women" catfight is fun, but too carefully choreographed.

In this category, they don't come much better than the entire powder room/john scene in "Valley of the Dolls."

Ever line is a campy howler.

For daytime drama fans, every time Stephanie (Susan Flannery) and Sally Spectra (the late Darlene Conley) had at each other on "The Bold and the Beautiful," it was devoon.

My favorite: Sally takes an unplanned dive into Steph's swimming pool and Stephanie says, "Oh look, Sally; your hair spray has made an oil slick!"

When Conley died, "B&B" didn't kill the Sally character, nor did they recast it.

Instead, they sent Sally on a cruise aboard a yacht, well-stocked, the dialogue tells us, with "hunks and boy-toys."

Even some TV producers have class.

Savannah Montgomery
Savannah Montgomery

...and the "non-catfight,catfight" award goes to...Davis/Crawford..."What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

P.S. - I love me some Una Merkel!


Here are the answers:


1-J; 2-G; 3-D; 4-H; 5-I; 6-A; 7-F; 8-C; 9-B; 10-E


"So they drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawlin' back to Broadway....


Marlene and Una are from Destry Rides Again.


Ann Miller & Dolores Gray is from Opposite Sex. Roz Russell & Paulette Godard is from The Women. That's all I know. Only the obvious ones.


Once again, no one can even try to match the choices that are given. They simply weigh in with their own choices "that were left out." Well, complain to the author of the book, then!