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.
A piano teacher believes that her fiancé, a cellist, was killed on the battlefield. When he returns alive, they marry, but are menaced and threatened by a wealthy, egotistical composer she started dating on the rebound.
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
Barbara Stanwyck and Loretta Young were both offered the role of Miriam when Joan Crawford became ill but they turned it down. Young felt the role was totally wrong for her, saying "I don't believe in horror stories for women and I wouldn't play a part like that if I were starving." At the time Crawford was good friends with both Stanwyck and Young. See more »
Throughout the film, Charlotte and Miriam keep on referring to
the "county commissioner". Louisiana is one of two states in the U.S. that's not divided into counties, the other being Alaska. See more »
Following soon after "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane", I originally thought that "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" would be a letdown - far from it, in my opinion, much better due a great deal to the cast of great actors and actresses. Bette Davis was in her element in this role of Charlotte, while Olivia de Havilland in the role originally planned for Joan Crawford was superb, and was an inspired piece of accidental casting! Agnes Moorehead deserved her Academy nomination, while Mary Astor was a most welcome sight. Joseph Cotten normally seems very wooden in his parts, but does an excellent job here. The Black and White photography adds a great deal to the mood, and is far better than Colour would have been. The ending was very well planned and carried out, and you feel after the film ends there is something else that happened that the viewer never saw. Get it on Video - it is well worth the experience.
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