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 found doing the scene in which the adult Jane sings her maudlin childhood signature song, "I've Written a Letter to Daddy," particularly memorable. "The old Jane gazing in the mirror from about 12 feet away looks pretty good," described Davis. "Then she walks forward. Ernie [cameraman Ernest Haller] had a high light, straight down, which is always bad for a woman. Especially me. When Jane finally gets up to the mirror, she sees herself as this decrepit old hag, when in her mind she's still young. I covered my face with my hands. [Robert Aldrich] had wanted a loud scream, but what came out was a hoarse cry--I'd been having laryngitis. It was right and we both knew it. [Aldrich] had tears in his eyes. 'You just won yourself an Oscar,' he whispered. I went home that night singing, 'And the Angels Sing'." See more »
When Blanche admits having been driving the car to kill her sister, she says she broke her spine in the crash. But as we see the scene at beginning of the film, it's hard to believe that she had enough momentum to have her spine broken. 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 »
Ryan Murphy's series "Feud" in which Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon play Joan Crawford and Bette Davis at the time of Baby Jane and beyond. I got so engrossed the series that I had to see What Ever Happened To Baby Jane again. Wow! Now, it all feels slightly different, less campy more poignant. Joan Crawford as played by Jessica Lange - the best performance by an actress in many, many years - is a totally recognizable person, crazy or not. When George Cukor tries to convince Joan not to be so vindictive "you're better than this Joan" to what Crawford/Lange replies: "No George, I'm not" Fantastic! Like another user already mention, I agree What Ever Happened To Baby Jane and Feud will be feeding each other keeping each other alive for generations to come.
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