Lake Placid Presents Betty White’s Best Role As Crocodile Queen

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Throughout Betty White’s illustrious career, Ms. Delores Bickerman in Lake Placid is her best role as she subverts expectations.

Betty White has had an illustrious Hollywood career. She has appeared in numerous TV shows, including her own sitcom and a variety show, both titled The Betty White Show. Perhaps her best-known roles are Sue Ann Nivens in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund in Golden girls. While all of her performances have been exceptional, one sometimes forgotten role stands out from the rest: Lake placidis Mrs. Delores Bickerman.

Betty White’s performance as Mrs. Delores Bickerman in Lake placid is her most iconic role because she subverts the perception most people have of her and sweet little old ladies in general. However, the role is also iconic as Ms. Bickerman caters to many viewers who just want to befriend the creature when faced with a movie monster despite the danger.


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What is Lake Placid?

The crocodile clings to a helicopter in Lake Placid

Released in 1999, Lake placid is a horror comedy about a giant crocodile that terrorizes the community around Black Lake, Maine. Sheriff Hank Keogh and Hunting and Fishing Officer Jack Wells must work together to find a way to stop the crocodile rampage alongside Kelly Scott, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr Hector Cyr, professor of mythology. They face opposition specifically from Mrs. Delores Bickerman, an old woman who lives on the lake and looks after crocodiles as if they were her pets. Throughout the film, they discover that there are actually two giant crocodiles living in Black Lake. While they must kill one, they manage to capture the other crocodile, and unbeknownst to the main characters in the film, the children of the crocodile still live in the lake.

Lake placid is much less violent than many other characteristics of creatures, and spends some time thinking about people’s relationship with nature and the crocodile’s place in the natural order. Throughout the film, the characters’ opinions about crocodiles begin to change. For example, Hank views the crocodile as a dangerous enemy that must be destroyed, and Hector views the crocodile as a god. By the end of the movie, they both come to see the crocodile as part of the natural order despite its odd size. Delores embodies this vision of the crocodile, and his performance serves as the backbone of this theme.

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How Betty White steals the show as Ms. Delores Bickerman in Lake Placid

Delores Bickerman leads crocodile cow in Lake Placid

From its first appearance in Lake placid, Delores seems like a nice old lady, but she quickly reverses that point of view. She offers cookies to Hank, Jack and Kelly as they interrogate her on the lake. When their questions turn to her late husband, she stiffens, then happily tells them that she murdered him, much to the disbelief of the trio. She claims her husband was sick and he begged her to kill him. She says, “Finally, I just gave in. I hit him on the head with a pan, then I buried him in the bulkhead.” While Delores’ story isn’t convincing, it does show just how far she’s willing to go to protect the crocodiles who have become her beloved pets.

Later, they find out the truth. Delores has been feeding her cows to crocodiles for six years and she lied to protect them. In a small but fun detail, she blindfolds the cows before leading them to their doom as if it relieves their pain. When questioned, Delores confesses that the crocodile ate her husband but claims it was a mistake. Delores is perfectly willing to use profanity to clarify her points, and she is a strong advocate for the crocodile. According to her, the crocodile presents little danger to humans precisely because so few people live on the lake.

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After Lake placid, where one crocodile is killed and the other captured, the film returns to Delores as she happily walks to her pier. She begins to feed a group of crocodiles, which she calls “cute little buttons”, as she tells them how much she loves them. So while Delores lost the battle to save the two adult crocodiles, she has, for now, won the war to protect the Black Lake crocodiles.

While much of the film’s humor is dated, Delores is easily the best part of Lake placid, and Betty White’s performance stands the test of time. Delores is hilarious precisely because she subverts the public’s expectations of Betty White and nice old ladies in general. However, his role as Delores is iconic as he also speaks on behalf of many members of the audience who love monsters and – when given the chance – would rather jostle the crocodile’s muzzle and attempt to live in harmony instead. than to kill the creature. .

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