"Christ, I still have nightmares about it."~Joan Crawford on
"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"
"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" 1962
Cast: Bette Davis~Joan Crawford~Victor Buono~Marjorie Bennett~Maidie Norman~Anna Lee~Julie Allred~Barbara Merrill~Dave
Willock~Gina Gillespie~Ann Barton.
Director & Producer: Robert Aldrich
Costumes by Norma Koch
Box Office Figures for "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?":
Top Grossing Film Position: Ranked #12!!
Gross Rentals: $15,000,000!!!
If you have seen this movie, please write a review below. Once your review is submitted, I will post the review below.
Thank you for your review on this film.
Stars: 5 stars
Review: This movie is absolutely brilliant 2 amazing co-stars and, I have to say, the best movie ever made. It has a
great all star cast, Miss Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson and Miss Crawford as Blanche Hudson. This movie has a great stroy
to it and I really love this movie. This has to be in my top 10 Crawford movies of all time. This movie is for both fans of
Bette or Joan. It is a must see if you haven't already seen it.
Stars: Four Stars
Review: In the 1960's, American cinema introduced a unique series of fright features that came to be known as "The
Hag Movies." Many fading female stars restored their luster with these luridly exciting tales of terror and suspense.
It all started in 1961 when Bette Davis was appearing in the Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' play THE NIGHT OF
THE IGUANA. After one of the performances concluded, Davis returned to her dressing room only to find an unexpected visitor
waiting: Joan Crawford, her rival at Warner Brothers during the 1940's. Crawford asked Davis to read the novel WHAT EVER HAPPENED
TO BABY JANE? by Henry Farrell, certain that it would make a fine vehicle for their acting talents. The film careers of Bette
Davis and Joan Crawford had been declining for some time, and the aging actresses desperately needed a box-office smash to
survive in the motion picture industry. Davis read BABY JANE and agreed that it had movie potential. Director Robert Aldrich
was willing to take on the project, but finding financial support would not be a simple task since Bette Davis and Joan Crawford
were both considered over the hill. Every time Aldrich tried to get money for his production, he heard the same response:
"We wouldn't give you a dime for those two old broads." Aldrich finally decided to produce the picture himself and
release it through Warner Brothers. As it turned out, his youth-challenged leading ladies were worth millions. Audiences asked
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? in droves, making this incredibly tense and highly charged psychological thriller a blockbuster
hit. The movie's enormous popularity put Davis and Crawford back on top, albeit as a pair of horror harridans, but at least
their careers were back in motion. It also convinced other older celluloid dames to give the horror genre a try.
The film begins in 1917 when Jane Hudson is a phenomenally successful young star of vaudeville. On stage, Jane is a harmless-looking
little girl who wins the audience over with her beautiful smile, pleasant singing voice, and remarkably sweet demeanor. Off
stage, however, she reveals her true self - a monumental brat who enjoys making life a living hell for her parents and sister.
By 1935, Jane and her sister Blanche have both become screen stars, but Blanche is the famous and glamorous one. Unfortunately,
a brutal auto accident leaves Blanche crippled and destroys her great career. It is widely held that the accident was caused
by an intoxicated Jane. We move forward to 1962: Jane grudginly looks after wheelchair-ridden Blanche in their decaying Hollywood
home. With the advent of television, Blanche's old pictures have found new life, while Jane's continue to rest in obscurity.
Consumed by jealousy and hatred, Jane launches a ghastly campaign of terror against Blanche. Convinced that her days are numbered
if she remains in the house with her twisted sister, Blanche tries to get away, but all avenues of escape have been cut off.
She is at the mercy of the increasingly insane and sadistic Jane.
Bette Davis received her tenth and final Academy Award nomination for playing the tyrannical title character. Joan Crawford's
portrayal of the terrorized Blanche was overlooked by the Motion Picture Academy, but it's extremely effective nevertheless.
Naturally, Robert Aldrich had his hands full directing a pair of divas. Davis pissed and moaned to Aldrich about Crawford's
drinking and padded brassieres. Davis's foot made contact with Crawford's head during a scene where Jane kicks Blanche around
the living room. Crawford got even by putting weights in her robe for a scene where Davis had to drag her across the floor,
and Davis strained her back. Whatever the set dynamics were, the end result is a couple of stunning performances from Miss
Davis and Miss Crawford.