The working-class twin sister of a callous, wealthy woman impulsively murders her out of revenge and assumes her identity. But impersonating her dead twin is more complicated and risky than she anticipated.
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
In the preamble to the film, there is a clip from Bette Davis' older film, Ex-Lady (1933), used as an early film for Jane Hudson. Bette climbs from her bed to look out her window. On the table beside her bed is a framed photo of her beau, played by Gene Raymond, who is also arriving in the car on the street below. Later on Blanche is watching her own old film Sadie McKee (1934). The man she visits in the hospital in her older movie clip and the man she leaves Edward Arnold for is Gene Raymond. See more »
When Jane places a telephone order with Johnson's Liquor Store to have booze delivered to the house, she is rebuffed, saying that Blanche gave them orders NOT to sell to her any more, she goes through the whole ordeal of imitating Blanche's voice on the phone to trick them into placing the delivery, but why go to the trouble? Jane is fully capable of driving to any liquor store by herself and buying whatever she wants in person. See more »
Want to see it again little girl? It shouldn't frighten you.
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The Warner Bros. logo does not appear at the beginning of this film. See more »
A compelling movie; Davis and Crawford tear each other apart
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? might seem dated, but it is still an extremely riveting watch. I literally could not look away, as soon as the movie started, I couldn't stop until it had finished. Not a lot of movies can do that to me. The acting is extremely good, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford are just so good as the main focus of the movie. The chilling score is suits the movie and the camera-work reminds me a lot of Hitchcock.
The story focuses on two sisters, Blanche Hudson (Joan Crawford) who was crippled in an accident awhile ago and "Baby" Jane Hudson (Bette Davis). Jane used to be a big child star, she even had a doll brand after her. Now, though, she is no longer recognised while her sister has recently become very famous. They live in an old mansion, with Blanche confined to her room upstairs while Jane gets madder and more cruel by the day.
Bette Davis gives the star performance here, some may call it over-acting but it is far from. She really makes Jane as mad, cruel and sad as possible. Joan Crawford is equally good in a very different role. She is much more timid then Jane and quite scared. The supporting cast are all good as well, especially Victor Buono as Victor Flagg, an odd pianist that befriends Jane. The black and white really are used to full effect, they make the mansion look extra creepy. Robert Aldrich's direction is fine.
To today's modern audience, this may seem boring as it does not have any action. Most of the movie is dialogue, but I do urge those who haven't seen it to do so, as it is a truly excellent movie.
A solid 5/5!
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