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In a tale that almost redefines sibling rivalry, faded actresses Blanche and 'Baby' Jane Hudson live together. Jane was by far the most famous when she performed with their father in vaudeville but as they got older, it was Blanche who became the finer actress, which Jane still resents. Blanche is now confined to a wheelchair - Jane ran her over with the car while drunk, even though she has no memory of it - and Jane is firmly in control. As time goes by, Jane exercises greater and greater control over her sister, intercepting her letters and ensuring that few if anyone from the outside has any contact with her. As Jane slowly loses her mind, she torments her sister going to ever greater extremes. Written by
In addition to her trademark number "I've Written a Letter to Daddy", the young Baby Jane apparently had other hit songs in her act. When Edwin prepares to play the piano for their rehearsal, we see Jane's picture featured on old sheet music for songs entitled "Fly the Flag of Freedom", "She's Somebody's Little Girl", and "I Wouldn't Trade My Daddy". See more »
Jane's newspaper ad only gives the phone number. When she makes the appointment with Edwin she never mentions an address but he shows up anyway. See more »
I'll bring in some tea. You like tea?
Oh, yes. I'm quite fond of tea. You must have guessed that I'm English.
Oh, really? How nice for you.
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A compelling movie; Davis and Crawford tear each other apart
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? might seem dated, but it is still an extremely riveting watch. I literally could not look away, as soon as the movie started, I couldn't stop until it had finished. Not a lot of movies can do that to me. The acting is extremely good, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are just so good as the main focus of the movie. The chilling score is suits the movie and the camera-work reminds me a lot of Hitchcock.
The story focuses on two sisters, Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford) who was crippled in an accident awhile ago and "Baby" Jane Hudson (Bette Davis). Jane used to be a big child star, she even had a doll brand after her. Now, though, she is no longer recognised while her sister has recently become very famous. They live in an old mansion, with Blanche confined to her room upstairs while Jane gets madder and more cruel by the day.
Bette Davis gives the star performance here, some may call it over-acting but it is far from. She really makes Jane as mad, cruel and sad as possible. Joan Crawford is equally good in a very different role. She is much more timid then Jane and quite scared. The supporting cast are all good as well, especially Victor Buono as Victor Flagg, an odd pianist that befriends Jane. The black and white really are used to full effect, they make the mansion look extra creepy. Robert Aldrich's direction is fine.
To today's modern audience, this may seem boring as it does not have any action. Most of the movie is dialogue, but I do urge those who haven't seen it to do so, as it is a truly excellent movie.
A solid 5/5!
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