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
Early on, Bette Davis made the decision to create her own makeup for Jane. "What I had in mind no professional makeup man would have dared to put on me," said Davis. "One told me he was afraid that if he did what I wanted, he might never work again. Jane looked like many women one sees on Hollywood Boulevard. In fact author Henry Farrell patterned the character of Jane after these women. One would presume by the way they looked that they once were actresses, and were now unemployed. I felt Jane never washed her face, just added another layer of makeup each day." Davis' garish makeup made her look something akin to a grotesque version of an aging Mary Pickford gone to seed, and she loved it. She took pride when Farrell visited the set one day and exclaimed, "My God, you look just exactly as I pictured Baby Jane." The outrageousness of Davis' appearance caused some concern for Aldrich and the producers, who feared it might be too over-the-top. However, as time went on, they came to see that Davis' instincts for the character were right. See more »
In the 1935 time line (11 minutes into the film), Ben Golden (Bert Freed) and Marty McDonald (Wesley Addy) are walking past a row of buildings in the studio discussing Baby Jane's acting. There are window air conditioners in almost every upper floor window of the 2-story building behind them. But the first window air conditioner wasn't marketed until 1938, and it wasn't until 1947 that they were mass produced. 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 »
In 1917 "Baby Jane" Hudson is an adored vaudevillian child star, while her sister Blanche Hudson lives in Jane's shadow. By 1935, both sisters are movie actors, but their fortunes have reversed: Blanche is a successful film actress, while Jane is forgotten and languishes in little-seen B-movies. One night, an inebriated Jane mocks Blanche at a party, provoking Blanche into running away in tears. That night, Blanche is paralyzed from the waist down in a mysterious car accident that is unofficially blamed on Jane, who is found three days later in a drunken stupor.
In 1962 Jane has descended into alcoholism and mental illness, and treats Blanche with cruelty.
What happens is a waking nightmare but the ending is more shocking than Bette Davis appearance.
Now this film is fun to watch. You need to see this. This was an instant classic upon its release. In 2017 the film returned to public conscienceless because of the Ryan Murphy Mini Series "Feud". That mini series is all about "Betty & Joan". It details the making of this film and all the events that surrounded it.
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