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Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Unrated | | Crime, Drama, Horror | 24 December 1964 (USA)
An aging, reclusive Southern belle, plagued by a horrifying family secret, descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.

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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Harry Willis
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Big Sam Hollis
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Jewel Mayhew
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Sheriff Luke Standish
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Paul Marchand
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John Mayhew
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Editor
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Foreman
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Taxi Driver
Michel Petit ...
Gang Leader (as Michael Petit)
John Megna ...
New Boy
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Storyline

Aged and wealthy Charlotte Hollis has lived alone and as a recluse in the crumbling family plantation mansion in Hollisport, Louisiana since her father Sam Hollis' death thirty-six years ago. The only people who regularly see her are her hard-as-nails but seemingly loyal housekeeper Velma Crowther, and her longtime friend and physician, Dr. Drew Bayliss. She has lived there the better part of her life except for a short stint in London thirty-seven years ago following the vicious murder of her married lover, John Mayhew, at the plantation's summer house while Sam was hosting one of his legendary grand balls in the mansion. That evening, she and John were going to run off together, that is before he was bludgeoned to death, his right hand and head which were never found. No one was ever convicted for his murder, but most people believe Charlotte did it after John changed his mind about running off with her. Not having seen her in years, they also now believe Charlotte is a crazy old ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Hush, Hush, sweet Charlotte, Charlotte, don't you cry, Chop, Chop, sweet Charlotte, a faithless man must die. See more »


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

24 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,235,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After being in the hospital for five weeks, Joan Crawford returned to work on Monday, July 20, 1964. On the first day, after she spent three hours in make-up, she stepped onto the soundstage, where she was greeted with applause and hugs from the cast and crew. Bette Davis also joined in the welcoming and handed Joan one perfect red rose. On the second day, Davis announced during a scene between Crawford and Joseph Cotten that she wanted some lines eliminated. "I am cutting some dialogue," said Bette, wielding a large red pencil and excising large chunks of dialogue from Joan's scene. "Miriam doesn't need them, and you, Mr. Cotten, I hope you don't mind. These lines hold me up." Joan abandoned her professionalism and turned on her heels and went to her dressing room. After this incident she was unable to work a full day without feeling tired. See more »

Goofs

Disturbed by a noise in the middle of the night, Miriam gets out of bed and puts a revolver in the pocket of her negligee. Shortly after, a wind storm whirls the gown around her head, something that could never occur if there was actually something as heavy as a gun in her pocket. See more »

Quotes

Miriam: Why wouldn't I tell him that his pure, darling little girl was having a dirty little affair with a married man?
Charlotte: You're a vile, sorry little bitch!
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Run, Run, Sweet Road Runner (1965) See more »

Soundtracks

Careless Love
(uncredited)
Traditional
[Played by the band at the party before "When the Saints Go Marching In"]
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User Reviews

 
Hack... Hack, Sweet Hasbeen
7 January 2002 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

Faded Southern belle Charlotte Hollis lives in depression and loneliness in her family's Louisiana plantation house, still distraught over the axe murder of her married lover 40 years earlier, a bloody killing that she was accused of doing. When the state condemns her home to put in a new highway, she defiantly refuses to leave, with a shotgun. When her long-lost Yankee cousin Miriam arrives to help, heads start to roll, literally.

Although not a sequel to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, it was conceived as a vehicle to reteam Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. And the story is similar in that the parts were written as Crazy Bette and Phony Joan (as Davis put it). Too bad Davis drove Crawford off the picture. (For details read "Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud" by Shaun Considine). It would've been great to see them do battle again, this time with Crawford having the upper hand.

Still, I enjoy "Charlotte" more than "Jane." For one thing, it has the delightfully grotesque Agnes Moorehead acting like Quasimodo as Charlotte's screwy ally/servant Velma. She steals every scene she's in (and an Oscar nomination), and I'm surprised Davis allowed it.

It's also nice to see sweet-faced Olivia DeHavilland cast against type as Miriam. She handles herself quite well, and god knows it couldn't have been easy for her. When Crawford heard that she was out and DeHavilland was in, she ranted against Davis and director Robert Aldrich in the press, but cooed, "I'm happy for Olivia, she needs a good movie role." Ouch. And after the picture was completed, Queen Bette said Olivia "was good at keeping the audience's attention while I'm off screen." With friends like her....

By the way, there is a long shot of Crawford still in the movie. Look for it when "Miriam" gets out of the taxi after arriving at the plantation house. That's actually the back of Joan's head, not Olivia's.


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