The working class twin sister of a callous wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes the identity of the dead woman. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.
Popular and beautiful Fanny Trellis is forced into a loveless marriage with an older man, Jewish banker Job Skeffington, in order to save her beloved brother Trippy from an embezzlement charge, and predictable complications result.
At breakfast, Jane announces that she and Ralph are getting married the next week. All Jane and Ralph want is a small wedding with the immediate family and no reception. This is because ... See full summary »
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 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
Joan Crawford was scheduled to appear alongside Bette Davis on a publicity tour of Baby Jane but cancelled at the last minute. Davis claimed that Crawford backed out because she didn't want to share the stage with her. In a 1972 telephone conservation, Crawford related to future author Shaun Considine that after seeing a screening of the film she urged Davis (who wasn't interested) to go and have a look. When Joan didn't hear back from her co-star, she called Davis and asked her what she thought of the film to which Bette replied, "You were so right, Joan. The picture is good. And I was terrific." Crawford, "That was it. She never said anything about my performance. Not a word." Considine alleges that this denial from Davis (with regards to Joan's talent as an actress) prompted Crawford to cancel the publicity tour and upstage Davis at the Oscars. See more »
When Blanche admits having been driving the car to kill her sister, she says she broke her spine in the crash. But as we see the scene at beginning of the film, it's hard to believe that she had enough momentum to have her spine broken. See more »
I don't quite understand. Is this some kind of emotional disturbance you're talking about?
Yes, she's emotionally disturbed. She's unbalanced!
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"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" is a most unusual and impressive thriller. Director Robert Aldrich achieves a fantastic sordid and dark atmosphere at the Huadson sisters mansion -where most of the action takes place- with an unusual black and white shooting for the early 60's. An interesting story, a well delivered screenplay and an accurate musical score also rise the film high.
But the main credit of the picture is casting together to real big names in Hollywood's history, not at their peak then but always reliable and attractive to see. Bette Davis (Jane) takes the most interesting character as the former child star that couldn't make it as an adult in show business so she has gone insane and keeps behaving as the spoiled child he was. She looks grotesque and ridiculous in her child outfits, hairdo and heavy make up. Davis is outstanding in her role and looks really mean when she tortures both mentally and physically her sister Blanche, delicate and reasonable. Joan Crawford plays Blanche and very well too, a former big star whose career ended after a strange car accident that put her on a wheel chair for life.
In the end things are not completely as they seem but the final twist is not what makes this film an extremely good one; it's the strange relationship between the sisters, that requires of that final twist to understand Blanche's tolerant conduct towards her sister.
The movie is perhaps a little too long and it would probably have been even better with a 10 minutes cut. But no doubt this is a top product in its genre and a great movie indeed.
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