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.
During the first World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
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
While Bette Davis took delight in looking dreadful for the film, the opposite was true of Joan Crawford. Even though Blanche had once been a beautiful young actress, she was now is her 50s, confined to a wheelchair, emaciated and wasting away. It was difficult for Crawford to appear unattractive, since she had always been considered one of Hollywood's most glamorous stars. "It was a constant battle to get her not to look gorgeous," said Davis. "She wanted her hair well dressed, her gowns beautiful and her fingernails with red nail polish. For the part of an invalid who had been cooped up in a room for twenty years, she wanted to look attractive. She was wrong." See more »
When Blanche is on the telephone after she has made her way down the railing (and right before Jane shuts the door, causing Blanche to realize that she has returned) her right leg moves, obviously voluntarily. See more »
[after divulging the 'accident' involving the Hudson sisters]
So the fine woman you've chosen to run around with turns out to be broke and a murderer as well!
Well, it's true!
All right then, if it's true I'll ask her about it when I see her again. How's that?
You wouldn't see a woman like that again!
Why not, you just told me she's got a rich sister.
Yeah, but there's the worst of it yet!
You mean there's more?
Yes, there is. After she run down her sister, your precious ...
[...] See more »
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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