Budgie: Season 1, Episode 12

Sunset Mansions or Whatever Happened to Janey-Baib? (25 Jun. 1971)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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Episode complete credited cast:
Adam Faith ...
Iain Cuthbertson ...
Lynn Dalby ...
Hazel Fletcher
Brenda Bruce ...
Denzil Davies
John Horsley ...
Richard Owens ...
Arthur Blake ...
Gillian Rhind ...
June Lewis ...
Mrs. Endell
Desmond Stokes ...
John Hughes ...
Charles Hill ...
Peter Whitaker ...
Wine Waiter
Terry Sartain ...


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Release Date:

25 June 1971 (UK)  »

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The Loner
(Main Theme - Series 1)
Written by Nick Harrison
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User Reviews

What the actress said to the Budgie
20 December 2010 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

The penultimate episode of Season 1 opens with Budgie taking two reels of film to a posh apartment in Sunset Mansions. As they came from Charlie Endell, its fair to assume they are not 'Pixie & Dixie' cartoons. The police have staked the place out. An orgy is going on in the flat where he is meant to take the films. The police put a stop to it. Budgie takes refuge in a neighbouring flat. It belongs to Janey Baib ( the late Brenda Bruce ), a one-time star of the silver screen, famed for her performances in historical melodramas. She has not acted in years, living now with her gay son Denzil ( John Thaw sporting a beard and a Welsh accent ) who belittles her dreams of regaining her former fame. She is charmed by Budgie and they wind up in bed. He gives her the confidence to go for an audition...

This is a parody of Billy Wilder's classic 'Sunset Boulevard' which starred William Holden as a struggling young writer who becomes romantically involved with silent era movie star Norma Desmond ( Gloria Swanson ). That film ended with the Holden character's death but here its Baib who perishes by her own hand, ashamed at having to appear in a dog food commercial. Charlie, a big fan of old films and Baib's in particular, watches mortified as a stretcher bearing Baib is carried out of Sunset Mansions. Hazel is not on good terms with Budge either, having caught him dining with Janey earlier in a restaurant. It feels strange to see Thaw in a role such as this just before he became a huge star four years later in 'The Sweeney'.

As you may have guessed, the episode's title spoofs the famous Bette Davis/Joan Crawford shocker 'Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?' ( 1962 ).

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