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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
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Index 172 reviews in total 

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Davis And Crawford At There peak

Author: Wael Katkhuda from cairo
17 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first saw a Few scenes of this film Back in 2005 in House Of Wax i thought that this is a Scary Movie, But in 2012 i finally saw it and it was something totally different, it was much more about illness and Psychology, it is a Sad Story.

Bette Davis in her role was just brilliant in portraying Baby Jane she is still living in her childhood level back to 1917 and refused to grow up! And that's obvious by the style of her dressing her make up and her hair. although in sometimes she knowing and realizing the truth but she kept back to her small world. and at the end she become Crazy and 100% a baby child and you feel very sorry for her.

For me this is the best role of Joan Crawford she is playing the innocent part ( but she isn't by the way ) in a very professional way make you feel sorry for her till the final scene.

For me i just can't stop playing the phone scene and the final scene the were something like magic i can't forget Bette Davis reaction after knowing the truth and her final dancing scene she was marvelous.

I still wonder how the ACADEMY didn't give Bette Davis The Oscar and how the didn't give Joan Crawford a nomination for This Role!!!

a special thanks for the supporting cast: Maidie Norman,Anna Lee,Victor Buono and Julie Allred who played Baby Jane in 1917

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Scared me as a kid, still impresses me today

Author: irishm from USA
10 September 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember seeing this for the first time when I was about 10, on TV one night back when there were only 3 networks. I liked scary movies. But by the time the opening credits were rolling over the face of the broken doll, I was off the couch and looking for my mother in another part of the house. Tried to get her to come watch it with me, but she was reading the comics to my little brother and told me if it was too scary I should just turn it off. Well, I couldn't bring myself to do that. I finished it, all alone. And it was terrifying, but I thought it was great! There's so much more going on here than classic film 'horror'. Blanche's pure helplessness... by the time she figures out she's in real trouble, Jane has removed just about any way she has at her disposal to get herself some help. The film draws the viewer right in and makes him/her experience what's going on in that house. That's a real-life nightmare that's even more terrifying because it's so realistic. It could and does happen in real life.

As a child, I was unfamiliar with either Davis or Crawford... the only player I recognized was Victor Buono, from his "Batman" role of King Tut. (I'm sure that admission wouldn't excite either Ms. Davis or Ms. Crawford... sorry; it was the 70's and I was 10.) The scene when he pops out of the other room rolling himself along in Blanche's wheelchair with the doll on his lap still makes me jump.

The somewhat ambivalent ending was fine with me, then as now. I always thought Blanche survived, but I can see how it could go either way.

Somewhat dated but still amazing film.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

So evil, my sister

Author: bobvend from United States
18 August 2012

Two great leading ladies star in this jet-black comedy doubling as a psychological horror thriller. A must-see film, even if only once, full of iconic set-pieces and memorable dialog. In addition to Davis and Crawford, there is a terrific supporting cast filled out by Anna Lee, Victor Buono, Marjorie Bennett and an excellent turn by Maidie Norman as the housekeeper who picks the wrong time to put the hammer down.

Bette Davis has an all-out field day chewing up the scenery as the delusional alcoholic former child star, while Joan Crawford plays it straight as her much-terrorized invalid sister. Davis was noted for not being afraid to 'get ugly' and dispensing with glamor when her characters required it. And here she effectively portrays Baby Jane as a grotesque unsympathetic character. And she makes it work.

Joan Crawford is equally good, giving a nuanced performance that gives an indication of how difficult dramatic acting can be, yet making it look so easy and natural at the same time.

Cynnical, frightening, humorous and fascinating, this film is a guilty pleasure...without the guilt.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The Living Dead

Author: LeonLouisRicci from United States
5 August 2012

Both actresses knew that they had become walking corpses in real life and this was their chance to get work and have some fun doing it.

It's difficult to pick the better performance. Each is outstanding and as fulfilling as humanly possible. Bette, as Baby Jane is literally a zombified creature with very little blood and a whole lot of alcohol floating in her fat aging body and Joan, as Blanche is emaciated and pitiful in her wheelchair with puppy-dog eyes that say "help me" more than once.

This is an ugly and sadly beautiful film. Disturbing and delightful. A film richly realized and dare one say it..."they just don't make them like this anymore".

Is there a creature in any of the modern horror grotesques that is truly as horrific as old Baby Jane Hudson. As creepy and skin crawling as any of todays living dead.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

How to make a thriller.

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!


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Together Wherever They've Gone

Author: writers_reign from London, England
26 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It isn't necessary to know that the central premise of sisters swapping dominance as they became adults is rooted in reality -Baby JUNE Hovick was a headliner in Vaudeville whilst sister Rose Louise was virtually ignored. As adults Rose Louise became headline stripper Gypsy Rose Lee whilst Baby June landed the odd role on Broadway (Sadie Thompson) and in Hollywood (Gentleman's Agreement) under a name close to the one she was born with, June Havoc - but it does add an extra dimension, especially if one had seen Gypsy, the Broadway musical based on the sisters which opened in 1959 and was filmed (by Warners) in 1962. What we are left with is two mega actresses who both dominated the screen in the thirties and forties, in their only co-starring film playing grotesque parodies of themselves in almost reviving Grand Guignol at the same time. Despite being scare-free it's well worth a look.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Hey Blanche, You Know We Got Rats in the Cellar?

Author: nickdelopes from United States
6 February 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" is a masterpiece of psychological and Gothic horror. Bette Davis is almost too creepy in the role of Baby Jane Hudson, a child star later overshadowed by her elder sister Blanche's fame as a movie star. Joan Crawford is Blanche,the perfect victim, crippled in an accident most people believed was caused by a jealous Baby Jane. The two are stuck in a creepy Gothic house, forced to live together.

Baby Jane's hate for Blanche is only increased when she hears Blanche is going to sell the house and give Baby Jane away to a mental asylum. The reasons are clear. Baby Jane was a person stuck in the past and the days of her childhood fame. Dressed in an adult-sized version of her childhood clothes. Her face is caked with cream, her lips smeared with horrible lipstick, hair childishly curled, and a heart-shaped mole plastered on. She is a painful depiction of a lost cause.

Baby Jane tortures her sister, serving dead rats and birds for breakfast and stopping all forms of communication between her and the outside world. She starves her sister while Baby Jane spends all their money on liquor and gin. Baby Jane stubbornly insists on a comeback, hiring a spoiled pianist named Edwin desperate for money to play while she performs her childhood routine "I've Written a Letter to Daddy" (A disturbing song of familial love gone wrong which sets the perfect tone for the film)

Baby Janegets more and more demented. She beats her sister, ties her to her bed, and kills the maid when she discovers Blanche. Baby Jane sinks quickly. Her foolish dreams of her past returning get more and more disturbed. She acts more like a child, fondling her Baby Jane doll, throwing tantrums, and reducing her voice to a baby-like twitter.

Eventually, Baby Jane's evil doings are found out about, and Baby Jane, desperate to get away, drives a dying Blanche to the beach. Fearing her death, Blanche tells Baby Jane that she caused her own paralysis while trying to kill Baby Jane. Baby Jane realizes that she and Blanche could have been friends and goes off to get ice cream. The police finds her and questions her. Baby Jane, seeing the crowd gathered round breaks into a child-like dance. She is now completely insane.

"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" is a film that gets under your skin. It is painful to watch Baby Jane's descent into madness almost as painful it is to see Blanche's torment. Excellently acted, filmed, and written, "Baby Jane" is a masterpiece of grotesqueness.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I wonder what's on the tray today.

Author: RanchoTuVu from Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
26 June 2008

An apt title for the movie, as it fits the story, or actually IS the story and actually answers itself at the conclusion. Nonetheless, the movie has gaps in the chronology which leaves it up to the viewer to imagine how Jane's psychological condition veers into eventual dangerous derangement. I guess it's a combination of jealousy of her sister's success in Hollywood as an adult, and guilt about her murky role in her sister's invalid condition, but maybe there were other factors too. In any event, the movie exploits the relationship between her and her sister, escalating tension which we can only imagine has existed for a long time and now is reaching some totally fabricated critical point. Luckily, it's well enough done, almost as good as Hitchcock, (great photography, editing, and a multitude of intriguing details) and has a keen eye on not just Jane but also the character played by Victor Buono, who plays another flaming Hollywoood failure. The relationship that develops between him and Bette Davis (Jane) is a lot more interesting, with more potential, than the one between Jane and sister Blanche (Joan Crawford).

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

din-din is served

Author: HelloTexas11 from United States
18 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Don't you love it when a great actor or writer or musician comes out of a slump and gets a 'second wind' which carries them on through the rest of his or her career? They almost always have a fallow period where they are considered old hat, passé', then somehow, something magical happens and they are transformed from a has-been into one of the all-time greats. I've never understood exactly how or why it happens, but in movies, it happened to Bette Davis with 'What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?' Actually, it wasn't the first time she had emerged from a lean period, but it might have been her greatest comeback. It was certainly her most audacious. Was there ever a less glamorous role than that of Baby Jane Hudson, with her ghastly pallor accentuated by layers of white pancake makeup and smeared on lipstick? Joan Crawford got to play straight-man to Davis' crazy Baby Jane. It gave her a boost too, though not as big a one as her co-star. But apparently, each of them were aware that the movie offered them a huge opportunity to revive their stagnant careers. Crawford's Blanche Hudson is the audience's surrogate in the film; the one trapped upstairs and totally dependent on the whims of her drunken mad sister. These two sisters are former stage and film stars, well past their prime and living in semi-seclusion in an old two-story house. Blanche was the bigger star, something she and Jane are well aware of, and she's now confined to a wheelchair, essentially trapped in her second-floor bedroom. Jane waits on her, going up and down the stairs, and drinks a lot. It is rumored that Jane ran Blanche down in a car, crippling her, years ago. Now, Blanche and their once-a-week cleaning woman, Elvira, are becoming increasingly concerned over Jane's erratic behavior. Blanche plans on selling the old house and moving someplace where she isn't dependent on her sister for everything, but she knows Jane won't like the idea and is afraid to tell her. As Jane intercepts all the mail, she is aware of it anyway and has no intention of allowing the place to be sold. Slipping further into insanity, Jane plans to resurrect her career and hires an accompanist, Edwin Flagg (Victor Buono) to help her rehearse her old stage act. She has new costumes made. Then she begins starving Blanche and fires the cleaning woman. The house becomes a chamber of horrors for her sister. Despite a solid performance by Crawford, hers is clearly the secondary role here. It's Bette Davis' show all the way, and she gives a wildly flamboyant and ghoulish performance. It is alternately hilarious and frightening, as when she slaps and later kicks Crawford mercilessly. It must have also been quite physically grueling for Davis, as she not only is constantly walking and running up and down those stairs (Roger Ebert quite correctly said that staircase is almost another character in the film), but she also must lift and carry Crawford several times over the course of the story. In the end, knowing she will be discovered any moment, Baby Jane takes Blanche to the beach, then delusionally imagines it as a normal outing to walk along the shore and play in the sand. Blanche lays covered in a blanket grotesquely on the beach while Baby Jane makes happy talk. Dying, Blanche tells her it was she who tried to run Jane down in the car all those years ago but broke her spine doing so; Jane was so drunk at the time she didn't remember. When the cops finally arrive, Baby Jane is dancing, in her madness giving an impromptu performance for a crowd of confused beachgoers.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:


Author: twanurit from United States
1 March 2008

.....doesn't come until the closing minutes of this classic drama, when one character comes out and speaks the truth about events decades prior. The opening prologue sets the stage for a series of events, and features fine performances by Anne Barton (anguished face) and Dave Willock as the parents of 2 lovely daughters, the successful child star "Baby Jane" (Julie Allred, outstanding) and on the sidelines, her simmering sister Blanche (Gina Gillespie, excellent). What follows will transfix you for over 2 hours, with exemplary support from Anna Lee as "nosy Mrs. Bates", Maidie Norman as a concerned housekeeper, Marjorie Bennett as the overbearing mother of a rotund musician, the eclectic Victor Buono. Last, but not least, are two extraordinary roles for the stars, Bette Davis as drunken Jane, grotesquely made-up, domineering, sadistic and hoping for a show business comeback, and equally matched by Joan Crawford as demure Blanche, comparatively well-groomed, restrained, grounded, yet almost behaving like the eye of a hurricane. Direction of Robert Aldrich is masterful, music by Devol compelling, cinematography (especially when branching out to the "light" in the final beach scene) arresting, dialog is penchant. Never to be missed, and worth repeating.

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