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What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Not Rated | | Drama, Horror, Thriller | 31 October 1962 (USA)
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5:12 | Trailer
A former child star torments her paraplegic sister in their decaying Hollywood mansion.

Director:

Robert Aldrich

Writers:

Henry Farrell (from the novel by), Lukas Heller (screenplay)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Davis ... Baby Jane Hudson
Joan Crawford ... Blanche Hudson
Victor Buono ... Edwin Flagg
Wesley Addy ... Marty Mc Donald
Julie Allred Julie Allred ... Baby Jane Hudson, in 1917
Anne Barton Anne Barton ... Cora Hudson (as Ann Barton)
Marjorie Bennett ... Dehlia Flagg
Bert Freed ... Ben Golden
Anna Lee ... Mrs. Bates
Maidie Norman ... Elvira Stitt
Dave Willock ... Ray Hudson
William Aldrich William Aldrich ... Lunch Counter Assistant at Beach
Russ Conway ... Police Officer
Maxine Cooper ... Bank Teller
Robert Cornthwaite ... Dr. Shelby
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Storyline

In a tale that almost redefines sibling rivalry, faded actresses Blanche and 'Baby' Jane Hudson live together. Jane was by far the most famous when she performed with their father in vaudeville but as they got older, it was Blanche who became the finer actress, which Jane still resents. Blanche is now confined to a wheelchair and Jane is firmly in control. As time goes by, Jane exercises greater and greater control over her sister, intercepting her letters and ensuring that few if anyone from the outside has any contact with her. As Jane slowly loses her mind, she torments her sister going to ever greater extremes. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Things you should know about this motion picture before buying a ticket: 1) If you're long-standing fans of Miss Davis and Miss Crawford, we warn you this is quite unlike anything they've ever done. 2) You are urged to see it from the beginning. 3) Be prepared for the macabre and the terrifying. 4) We ask your pledge to keep the shocking climax a secret. 5) When the tension begins to build, try to remember it's just a movie. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Thriller

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$980,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Glen Glenn Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While touring the talk show circuit to promote the movie, Bette Davis told one interviewer that when she and Joan Crawford were first suggested for the leads in this film, Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner replied: "I wouldn't give a plugged nickel for either one of those two old broads." Recalling the story, Davis laughed at her own expense. The following day, she reportedly received a telegram from Crawford: "In future, please do not refer to me as an old broad!" See more »

Goofs

Blanche screws up the note to throw it to her neighbor. However when Jane hands the folded note to Blanche it has no sign of having been screwed up. Apart from folded, the paper is pristine. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Toy Salesman: Want to see it again little girl? It shouldn't frighten you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Warner Bros. logo does not appear at the beginning of this film. See more »

Alternate Versions

The original British release was cut in two places: in Reel Four, where Jane kicks Blanche only once instead of multiple times, and Reel Six, which eliminated some shots of Blanche tied up to the bed and writhing. Both cuts were mandated by the BBFC in order to receive an "X" certificate. Subsequent reissues restored the footage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Molly: What Ever Happened to Baby Peggy (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Folks at Home
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played by band in the 1917 prologue
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Bette Davis gives an amazing performance
8 May 2017 | by cheroldSee all my reviews

This 60s thriller ingeniously casts two faded Hollywood stars as ... two faded Hollywood stars. While Joan Crawford's Blanche is stuck in a wheelchair Bette Davis's Jane takes care of her. Bitter that her career as a child vaudeville star was eclipsed by Blanche's adult career, Davis drinks, looks through her old scrapbooks, and, unfortunately for Blanche, begins to lose her mind.

Davis commits fully to her bizarre character, starting out as a slatternly drudge and slowly going over the edge. There is a bravery to Davis' role most notable in her extraordinary recreation of Jane's childhood act. Victor Buono is also excellent as a rather peculiar pianist.

While I've never been a big Crawford fan, she is quite good as Blanche, whose genial indulgence of her sister slowly turns to terror.

The movie is a classic of its kind and necessary viewing for fans of Davis and/or 60s thrillers.


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