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
Bette Davis was nominated for the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in this movie. Had Davis won, it would have set a record number of wins for one actress. According to the book "Bette & Joan - The Divine Feud" by Shaun Considine, Davis and Joan Crawford had a lifelong mutual hatred, and a jealous Crawford actively campaigned against Davis winning Best Actress, even telling Anne Bancroft that if Bancroft won and was unable to accept the Award, she would be happy to accept it on her behalf. According to the book, on Oscar night Davis was standing in the wings of the theater waiting to hear the name of the winner. When it was announced that Bancroft had indeed won for The Miracle Worker (1962), Joan marched past Davis with barely an "excuse me" and swept onstage to accept Bancroft's Oscar. See more »
When Jane is shown crying moments before her "Alright Blanche Hudson! Miss big, fat movie star!" speech, Blanche changes position when ringing the buzzer. A close-up shows her hand first extending to the buzzer from the left side of the table. A moment later she's seen sitting in her wheelchair buzzing from the right side of the table. The two shots are a split second apart, so she wouldn't have had time to maneuver all the way around the table in a wheelchair to a new position. 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 »
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 »
I have seen this movie at least two dozen times, and I will see it at least that many times again. It's such a Bette Davis feast. Of course, she was nominated for an Oscar. And she should have won it! There was a lot of 'history' between Miss Davis and Miss Crawford going way back to the 1940s, when Crawford was let go from M-G-M and went to work at WB where Bette Davis was Queen of the lot. The stories behind the making of the film are as interesting as the movie, with Miss Crawford demanding the set be kept at a breezy 55 (but preservative) degrees causing all kinds of problems with Miss Davis's bronchitis. One only wonders how much 'acting' was involved as Miss Davis tortures Miss Crawford emotionally and, later, physically. Miss Crawford suffers grandly and has her mandatory telephone scene, big eyes tremulous with fear. She is great, but it is a Bette Davis tour-de-force and she wipes every other actor off the screen. Full 10 of 10 for this one, and recommended to everyone who wants to see what the great actresses of the 1930s and 1940s could and would still do, albeit in minor-A productions, as the requests for their services dwindled, but wanted to keep on working.
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