Newest Review: ... and acting talents and becomes a famed, glamorous well loved actress with hoards of fans. However, Baby Jane tries her hand in the s... more
RELEASED: 1962 - BETTE DAVIS AND JOAN CRAWFORD AT THEIR BEST!!!
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (DVD)
Member Name: Ironbutterfly123
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (DVD)
Advantages: If you are a Bette Davis, Joan Crawford fan you'll love this - seeing them both together is a treat
Disadvantages: If you don't like black and white movies or not a fan of the two main leads then not for you!
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford head the cast in a 1962 psychological film of sibling rivalry, jealousy, entrapment, alcoholism and murder and how disappointment in life, ageing and faded fame can lead to bitterness and hatred.
The story opens in 1917 with Baby Jane Hudson, a child performer played by Davis, who is the new big draw in the variety entertainment circuit of that era. She even as a doll made of her which you can buy. Her father adores her as she is the talent in the family bringing in the money and spoils her, however, Baby Jane's sister, Blanche Hudson played by Crawford is somewhat neglected at the time and secretly harbours a grudge. As time goes by and the two sisters grow up and are now young women it is now Blanche who is the one getting noticed for her beauty and acting talents and becomes a famed, glamorous well loved actress with hoards of fans. However, Baby Jane tries her hand in the same genre and it doesn't quite come off and she is not as successful as Blanche. Her career doesn't really take off due to her not being a talented actress, being difficult to work with and angry outbursts with directors. Her career goes into decline which procures her into alcoholism which in turn creates bitterness towards her sister and effects her behaviour.
One evening on their way home from a party they are driving home and as they get into the driveway one of them is at the gate of their mansion while the other one, in the car, steps on the gas and smashes into the gate. It is unclear which sister is driving.
In the present both women are aged and have now retired and live together. Blanche is in a wheelchair and has no use of her legs because of the automobile accident and is completely reliant on Baby Jane and their housekeeper, Alvira played by Maidie Norman. A nosy neighbour across the way tries to get a glimpse of Blanche Hudson her favourite actress but is brushed away by Baby Jane who takes on the role of a jailer after Blanche tries to escape or call for help when her sister's increasingly manic behaviour gets worse. Baby Jane prepares dead rodents and a pet bird at meal times and serves this to Blanche making her frightened and starved. In order for her not to escape or call for help Baby Jane ties Blanche up when she learns that Blanche is thinking of selling the house and putting her into a home. The housemaid, Elvira, worries about Baby Jane's increasing alcoholism and behaviour and tries to do something about it with a murderous outcome for her concern. Blanche realises to her horror that Baby Jane is trying to revive her career. Baby Jane does not seem to realise that she is no longer a young pretty little girl but now a haggered old woman. She hires Edwin Flagg (Victor Buono) to accompany her singing on the piano but all he is interested in is taking advantage of her vulnerability by taking her money and going along with her deranged career comeback.
The film ends with a shock confession, murder, and how madness can ensue through alcoholism and the realisation of getting old and being neglected in life and no longer the person you once were as time moves on and each generation has their own new version of a Baby Jane some people can accept that some cannot and it destroys them.
I adore this movie it is unusual, dark and atmospheric and shows that what you were as a child does not always carry through to adulthood.
Summary: Bette Davies and Joan Crawford bring their rivalry to the forefront in this wonderful, scary film