Baby Jane is a tragic victim manipulated by her melodramatic sister Blanche. Blanche who set up her own accident continues to keep Baby Jane in the dark... always thinking that she was the evil sister.
J. Conrad Frank,
An overweight man and woman become penpals but are too embarrassed to send each other photographs of themselves and instead exchange pictures of two thinner people. Comedic complications ... See full summary »
B. Constance Barry,
The relationship between a jealous, former child star and her sister take a twisted, dark turn after their careers flip-flop and a car accident leaves the more successful one confined to a wheelchair. A remake of the 1962 thriller 'What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?'.
My philosophy on remakes is if you can't outdo the original, why bother? Although there are several remakes that I like, this is one of those "why bother" films. Don't get me wrong, the cast did a decent job with what they had to work with, and it was interesting to see the characters moved into the 90s, but where the original had a little too much backstory this version didn't have enough. But allowing time for commercials took away from the story, leaving this version nearly an hour short of the original. It was interesting to see the characters moved into a world with video stores, prostitutes, and drag queens -- which may be the only saving grace for the remake.
I saw this version when it premiered, but didn't yet know the original, thus I didn't care for it that much. Seeing it again over 10 years later, now that I've seen the Davis/Crawford version, it made me like this one slightly better, but only slightly. The original is deservedly a classic, and the behind-the-scenes story is just as, if not more, interesting as the movie itself. When it comes to this version, there were no behind-the-scenes battles, being as the leads are real-life sisters.
At the beginning of this version, the Redgrave sisters seem to be more friendly towards one another than Davis and Crawford were at any point of the original, but it still works. Lynn does a descent job as over-the-top Baby Jane, but she only plays it over-the-top, unlike the schizophrenic portrayal that Davis gave. Vanessa, on the other hand, lacked the depth that Crawford had as Blanche, which made her seem less like a victim and more like she just can't act, particularly the closer it got to the end of the film. Case in point, the final scene. Where Crawford gave an honest, breathless confession on the beach, Vanessa Redgrave studders her way through the dialogue as if she's reading it from cue cards perched above her head. John Glover, taking over the Victor Buono role, did a good job with his part, though it was a little disconcerting seeing the character in drag (though Buono could have never pulled that off).
At the very most, this version was interesting. Nuff said.
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