Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)

Unrated  |   |  Mystery, Thriller  |  24 December 1964 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 8,268 users  
Reviews: 118 user | 38 critic

An aging, reclusive southern belle, plagued by a horrifying family secret, descends into madness after the arrival of a lost relative.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 7 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Big Sam
Paul Marchand
John Mayhew
Dave Willock ...
Taxi Driver
Michel Petit ...
Gang Leader (as Michael Petit)
John Megna ...
New Boy


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


Don't Tell Anyone What Happened In The Summer House! See more »


Mystery | Thriller


Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 December 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?  »

Box Office


$2,235,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Production was supposed to begin in April, but Joan Crawford had to attend a Pepsi sales convention in Hawaii that same month so production was postponed until May. 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 »


Big Sam Hollis: I can't even look at Charlotte without ugly thoughts rip my guts! I'd sooner it been one of my field boys.
See more »


Referenced in The Hollywood Palace: Episode #2.7 (1964) See more »


When the Saints Go Marching In
Played by the band at the party
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User Reviews

Memorable Characters, Song
7 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

It's tough to beat this for a good, deep cast: Bette Davsi, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorhead, Cecil Kellaway, Victor Buono, Mary Astor and Bruce Dern.

My favorite character in here was played by Moorhead. She was excellent as the eccentric (but very perceptive) housekeeper. I wish Kellaway's role had been bigger. It was interesting, too, to see such a young Dern. Davis looked really grotesque, but that was the idea. Kudos for her to not care about her looks.

Speaking of looks, the best feature in here might have been the cinematography. I have not seen this on DVD but I'd like to and wonder if it looks tremendous. It sure looked good on VHS. And that theme song! It is played throughout the movie and once you hear it, as I first did in the theater over 40 years ago, you never forget it.

My lone complaint is the length of the film. At 133 minutes, I think it would have been a lot tighter and better at about 110. However, even though there were definite lulls in the story, they were never that long in length.

22 of 35 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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