IMDb > What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips
Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 5 of 17: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [Next]
Index 169 reviews in total 

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Great movie even if a little lengthy

8/10
Author: ersinkdotcom from United States
29 October 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There's no denying the power in the performances of both Joan Crawford and Bette Davis as they spar off each other throughout this brilliant thriller. My only complaint is that the 133-minute running time could have been cut down by trimming some of the fat off the edges.

Two sisters live together in a large house in the heart of Hollywood. Ex-child star "Baby" Jane Hudson is forced by circumstance and guilt to take care of her crippled ex-movie star sister, Blanche. "Baby" Jane begins to descend into madness as she reflects on her loss of celebrity. She takes her frustrations out on Blanche in many maniacal and cruel ways. The handicapped sibling must find a way to escape the clutches of "Baby" Jane before it's too late.

The black and white picture gives it a moody atmosphere it wouldn't have achieved in color. The shadows and camera angles are key to the tone each particular scene is trying to evoke.

The movie stretches itself a little thin at times and could have been a bit shorter. A great ending, elegant cinematography and disturbing performances by the lead actors more than make up for that shortcoming.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How to make a thriller.

9/10
Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
1 August 2012

Watching old thrillers back from the days when it wasn't really being a popular and established genre yet is always interesting. It's interesting to see how certain genre elements slowly got developed and improved upon throughout the years and genre clichés weren't considered to be clichés yet. It certainly also makes this movie more original to watch than just an average, modern, genre attempt.

And this movie does indeed handle all of its genre ingredients extremely well. There is suspense, there is mystery and there are also plenty of surprises and twists to enjoy in its story. I did like the twist at the end as well, though I can certainly imaging as well how certain people will say it's too much and a bit too far fetched. But that's classic film-making for you. Everything back then still was slightly more exaggerated and also even somewhat over-the-top perhaps.

That particularly goes for this movie, that got done more in an '40's type of style, with its acting, visual style and storytelling. I however really liked that approach for this movie, since the story is about two sisters who formerly had a flourishing Hollywood career, in the early days of cinema. It was kind of need for this movie to have a more old fashioned style and atmosphere to it and if you would had told me this movie got made in 1942, instead of 1962, I would had probably believed you.

The relationship between the two sisters is what makes this movie. They despise each other, yet they are also dependent of each other, for various reasons and are therefore also forced to live together. Jealousy is a big theme in this movie as well as aging and what could happen to a person when he or she suddenly disappears out of the spotlight, after having lived actively under it for so many years. It's therefore also nice that the two main characters are being played by and Joan Crawford, who 20 years prior to this movie were at their peak and extremely popular and well known actors, pretty much like the two main characters in this movie were as well.

You could say this is a movie about the crumbling of an human being, in which one of the characters is slowly descending into madness and gets in deeper and deeper trouble because of it. It's also what makes the character and the overall movie unpredictable and gives it a true sense of tension, pretty much throughout the entire film.

The 'evil' sister gets played by Bette Davis, who is being more like the evil stepmother from Cinderella. She is a true villain in her actions and behavior but what makes its scary is that she at all times still remains a human being. There is nothing unrealistic about it so to speak, which makes her performance all the more powerful and hard to forget.

A great suspenseful movie, with a great straightforward story and character dynamics in it!

9/10

http://bobafett1138.blogspot.com/

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

brilliantly bonkers

9/10
Author: supohagan from United Kingdom
12 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't have to say much more than other people have said, other than it brilliantly was able to combine the disturbing, grotesque and tragic with the comical so seamlessly, OTT characters on paper made believable by the incredible performances. The script is absolute genius, as is the twist in the end. I will never forget the image of Jane Hudson dancing on the beach with 2 ice creams deluded that people still adore her. Bette Davis should have won best Oscar, but i suppose it may have been too much for the early sixties. I can think of no modern actress who could have done what she did in this film. And it is one of those movies that don't become less disturbing overtime. THATS ALL!! Just watch it!!

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

One of the last and best examples of the old Hollywood.

10/10
Author: Guy Lanoue from Canada
18 February 2011

Recently saw this gem again for the umpteenth time, and enjoyed it as much as the first. There's so much to praise here, and there is little I can say that better analysts and sharper observers haven't already said, especially about the behind the scene tensions and feuding between the two mega-stars. But I would like to add, and suggest that future viewers look for, the imaginative and innovative use of lighting as a dynamic element of the storyline. Director Aldritch cleverly did a kind of reverse film noir, with slabs of light bathing Bette Davis' mask of death makeup and decayed curls, while Joan Crawford (who should be praised for a subdued performance to accent Davis' over the top emoting) is often shot (and dressed) in various greys. The lighting (film blanc?) is a presage to the film's final denouement. Overall, the praise this film has received is well-deserved, and a kind of tribute to the last of the old Hollywood greatness before the emergence, just a few years later, of director-driven panning and editing that underlined the alleged originality of newer visions of society. WEHTBJ is one of the last shining examples of what Hollywood used to do so well, adhere to well-established and standard categories of the human psyche and explore its nuances according to standard rules of scripting and visual set up, as if everyone shared the same grounded Freudian codes that allowed the public to share the meaning of characterisation, shot setups, lighting and flashbacks (narrative development) with the craftsmen behind the cameras. Watching this film now really is watching a bit of history, and not only for the great names and great virtuoso performances involved. They really don't make films like this anymore.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bitter Enemies Bette and Joan at Their Best

10/10
Author: allaboutlana from United States
2 November 2010

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, both in career slumps and who were bitter enemies, were paired in this over-the-top dark tale of sibling rivalry and made box office history. This is the movie that started the fad of major movie stars in horror movies. With as many reviews as this has already, I don't why I'm reviewing it. But I am.

Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis later on) was a child star and was a spoiled brat, being the center of attention and daddy's favorite. Blanche (Joan Crawford) just tries to stay out of trouble and tries to stay in good with daddy. But she can't seem to, no matter how hard she tries. Mother asks her "to please treat your sister better she's treating you now." Fast forward: the sisters are older and movie actresses, but Jane is an alcoholic too. But for every film Blanche makes, she makes the studio give a film to Jane to star in, even though she stinks. (We see Bette and Joan in real movies they made in their early years.)Then a mysterious accident happens. One of them runs over the other who had to get out and open the gate to the grounds.

Fast forward again, present day: we see Bette Davis and Joan Crawford older with Joan in a wheelchair. She depends on Jane for everything, but there is much bad treatment that goes with it. A lot of what could have been is involved here, as we are allowed to see by the end of the film what really happened in the accident. The unpleasantness does hamper one's enjoyment of the film, but the acting of the pros is incredible, especially Joan, who incidentally didn't take a salary but took some of the gross profits. When Bette heard this, she hit the roof. But in a small way, she got revenge with an Oscar nomination when they were announced.

Costarring Anna Lee and Victor Buono, this is a ground-breaking film that is simply one of the best of its kind. I would recommend "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" too. What happens to Baby Jane and Blanche? See for yourself.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

over the edge, NOT the top

10/10
Author: soneill from manhattan
26 October 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Anyone who calls Bette Davis' terrifying yet heartbreaking portrayal of Baby Jane Hudson "over the top" either knows nothing about acting or was made so uneasy by her performance that they must try to trivialize it into something from which they can distance themselves. The spoiled child star Baby Jane is over the top, but only because the on-stage Baby Jane is a grotesque contrast to the willful brat that is the real Jane Hudson. But the grownup (or at least aging) Jane as portrayed by Bette Davis is a character over the edge, steeped in unbearable truths--liquor-soaked, vicious, old, jealous, terrified and above all, so lonely. This is a movie about needing to be seen, yearning for love and living with the acid knowledge of being utterly forgotten. Blanche needs to be seen, too, for the same reason Jane does--to save her life. Watching Jane slowly dismantle all of Blanche's links to the outside world makes for a harrowing two hours.

And still it's very funny in spots. My mother, never one to be put off by the macabre, used to howl with laughter at some of Jane's juicier antics. I'd be peeking through my fingers and sleepless for the next week, so disturbed was I by this movie, but even a chicken like me could see the dark humor of Victor Buono's hatred for his slatternly mother or his ill-concealed revulsion when he first encounters Jane in person, Jane's pitch-perfect imitation of her sister while on the phone to the liquor store, the obscenities that she mouths under the insistent, piercing ring of Blanche's summoning buzzer, the appalling number of drinks Jane knocks back on an average day, and on and on. Chilling and hilarious, sad and ultimately compassionate, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" is a must-see.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

A classic of the macabre that has aged beautifully

10/10
Author: sgtking from United States
11 January 2010

Some films that were great back at the time of their release don't fare so well when watched many years later. Films that were seen as, for lack of a better, cool at the time are kind of cheesy or dated by today's standards. This is true of a lot of Horror films. Some of the classics like the Universal monster movies and others like 'Rosemary's Baby' may be tame by now, but because they were so beautifully done at the time they have held up very well. Others like 'The Legend of Hell House' don't hold up nearly as well, though that one is still pretty good. 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?' is of the tradition of Grand Guignol, a sadly neglected theatrical movement. It was a hit then with critics and audiences, but how does it hold up today nearly fifty years since it's release?

Pros: Dynamite performances by the two stars and good work by the supporting cast. Great concept. Brilliant screenplay. Director Aldrich does a masterful job of creating and maintaining suspense. There's also a great deal of tension. A grand score. Beautiful, crisp cinematography. After a slow start, the pace moves along steadily and there's never a dull moment. Quite creepy and there's no shortage of disturbing goings on.

Cons: At times predictable.

Final thoughts: Having grown up on modern Horror it's refreshing to go back and visit a classic such as this. It truly is a shame that films of this kind are hardly made anymore because this one is truly a knockout. I like blood and gore in Horror as much of the next person, but that can only go so far. Real Horror is watching someone go completely mad and harm those around them.

My rating: 5/5

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

True horror

9/10
Author: Eibhlinn Savage from Ireland
7 March 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have only ever seen two movies with Bette Davis: What ever Happened to Baby Jane? and The Nanny. And in both I have to say she is positively scary in a very real way. Its not just her appearance, it is the way she so deeply seem to enter the deranged minds of the characters she is playing. There is no blood or guts involved. No ghosts or gruesome visuals. Just a very very very scary deranged woman. She had already turned my stomach with fear in The Nanny and I have to stay that while both are amazing, Baby Jane is definitely a step further from The Nanny. In the end, the Nanny was a a good woman who lost it after going through two traumatizing events on the same day. But Baby Jane is as evil as she is mad and sinks deeper and deeper into true horror. I loved it!

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

When Bette is bad, she's delicious!

7/10
Author: Jem Odewahn from Australia
26 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Occasionally TOO over-the-top, but quite good, and very entertaining. If you are a Bette Davis fan, and hate Joan Crawford with a passion (No, I don't wish to ignite all those Bette Vs Joan threads again!), then this is the film for you. Not only does Bette, as the former child star of the title turned alcoholic maniac, get to bound and gag her famous enemy, but she gets to serve her "din-dins" in the shape of a rat. It's all a heck of a lot of campy fun, but also disturbing too, as we see just how fame and jealousy has ruined the two sisters. Robert Aldrich was obviously very inspired by "Sunset Boulevard" in making this film, which has Davis and Crawford living in a decayed old Hollywood mansion together, with Davis attempting a pathetic comeback to stage stardom. The lurking shadows and grotesquerie amped up by Aldrich remind me very much of "Sunset". Davis one-upped Crawford by bagging an Oscar nomination for a performance that only she could make great. When Bette is bad, she's so damn awesome to watch! Crawford, with those ghastly eyebrows, seems to be begging the audience for pity as the wheelchair bound Blanche, but she never elicited pity from me. Maybe because I know Joan better?! The final revelation on the beach really wasn't surprising for me, but the beach scene is effective because it's one of the few exterior-lit scenes in the film and brings all the dirty secrets out into the light of day. Like I said earlier, it's sometimes too OTT, and it has some problems with pacing, but on the whole it's nice work. Victor Buono is also very effective as the creepy, would-be musician whom Davis thinks will assist her comeback

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Child-star run amok.

8/10
Author: Leonard Smalls: The Lone Biker of the Apocalypse from Arizona
23 December 2008

While there are some moments of sheer absurdity, there are many more of sheer mayhem in this clas-sick thriller.

"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" is on many levels an old school Hollywood film. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford display a genuine disdain for each other in this psychological horror in some memorably upsetting scenes.

Look for Bette Davis feeding Crawford a dead bird, a rat, kicking the living crap out of her and slapping her around some in a drunken, envied frenzy. It was amazing.

A few questions though: When Blanche is up in her room, how come she can't yell to the neighbors out of the open window, but when Jane is leaving the house to go to the bank, she calls out after her? That just made no sense to me. Also, when Jane finally gets to the phone, why does she call a DOCTOR and not the police? Again, implausible.

The coolest thing about this flick is the twist at the end, I for one did not see it coming. All in all a brilliant film and I recommend it to horror movie buffs. There are moments that will no doubt freak you out.

8 out of 10, kids.

Was the above review useful to you?


Page 5 of 17: [Prev][1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [Next]

Add another review


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards Newsgroup reviews External reviews
Parents Guide Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history