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.
George lives with her lover, Childie and plays a cheerful district nurse in a BBC soap opera. However, her character is to be killed off, and George realises that the only other job she can... See full summary »
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.
The lady is Mrs. Hilyard, a wealthy poetess who lives in a three-story city mansion and her cage is her elevator, which stops a dozen feet short of the main floor due to an electrical ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
Set in the 1920s Depression, a gang of half-witted small-time hoods led by Slim Grissom kidnap heiress Barbara Blandish and Slim proceeds to fall in love with her. Remake of the 1948 ... See full summary »
Charlotte Hollis, an aging recluse deluded into a state of dementia by horrible memories and hallucinations, lives in a secluded house where, thirty-seven years before, John Mayhew her married lover, was beheaded and mutilated by an unknown assailant. Written by
The entire company was put up at the Belmont Motel (a mile outside Baton Rouge) and when Joan Crawford arrived there, her rooms had not been made up. She then had to sit for an hour in the motel's lobby, and when she was finally put into a bungalow, it was next to the garbage disposal unit. That evening, when the company returned from filming, Joan complained to Bette Davis. Davis replied, "Oh, Joan. Pull yourself together. This is Baton Rouge, not Beverly Hills." Davis' bungalow was across from Crawford's and was slightly larger and more luxurious. See more »
As Miriam arrives, the scene from inside the cab clearly shows the driver turning right to go around the circular driveway. A second later, shot from the house, the cab is still going straight before reaching the point where it has to turn. See more »
So you're finally showin' the right side of your face. Well, I seen it all along. That's some kinda drug you been givin' her. Isn't it? It's what's been making her act like she's been. Well, Ah'm goin' into town and Ah'm tellin them what you been up to.
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John Mayhew (Bruce Dern), a married man, is having an affair with Charlotte Hollis (Bette Davis). When Charlotte's father, Sam (Victor Buono), a local bigwig (the town is even named after the family) finds out that John was planning on eloping with Charlotte, he demands that John tells Charlotte during a big party that he's breaking off their relationship. John ends up dead, and Charlotte is the likely suspect. Thirty-seven years later, Charlotte is still living as a recluse on her family's plantation, but now she is being forced to move, as a highway is going to be built across her property. Gradually, people come back into her life to ostensibly help her.
For at least the first 45 minutes to an hour or so into the film, Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte is a 10 out of 10. Unfortunately, given a 133-minute running time, director Robert Aldrich can't sustain the intensity for the length of the film, but Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte finishes as an 8 out of 10 for me.
Although there are some thriller and horror elements, both take up relatively little screen time. At that though, these elements are extremely effective. Some parts are surprisingly graphic for 1964--just enough to be a surprise and evoke the appropriate sense of shock. The best horror/thriller material in the film is in the haunted house vein, and for a time, we wonder if Hush . . . Hush, Sweet Charlotte is going to end up being a ghost story.
But the focus here is primarily on Charlotte and Miriam Deering (Olivia de Havilland) and their relationship to one another. Davis and de Havilland are both incredible in the film, and both go through a very wide range of emotions. Oddly, Agnes Moorehead (as Velma Cruther) was more recognized for her performance than the rest of the cast in terms of awards and nominations, with de Havilland receiving neither. Not that Moorehead wasn't good, but in my view, she wasn't the standout performance. However, that's just further fuel for my belief that the Academy Awards have little to do with rewarding the best films, actors and filmmakers.
There are also broader themes explored as a subtext, including the changing way of life in the southern United States between the early and mid-20th Century.
I subtracted two points because the film lost a bit of its momentum and direction in the middle, but the last half-hour is as exciting as the beginning.
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